Chuck Pierce claims he’s a “prophet” in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) or what many refer to as Dominionism. Because of Pierce’s elevated status, he recently bestowed a “new mantle for the future” on Glenn Beck, popular TV/radio host, author and speaker. “Prophet” Pierce presented the mantle to Beck at Global Spheres Center in Corinth, Texas as Mrs. Beck looked on.
Beck’s fans often hear him boast that he’s a Christian. But let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Substantiation for this statement, if for no other reason, lies in the fact that he’s a proud member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). When former Mormon Ed Decker of Saints Alive got wind of Beck’s mantle ceremony, he remarked:
For Chuck Pierce to claim that he was instructed of God to lay hands and [bestow] a holy mantle … for a man who claims a false priesthood, who sits under an exalted man-god who lives on a planet near the great star Kolob with his many goddess wives—that claim is of the father of lies, coming from the mouth of a very false prophet.
This is Mormon theology in a nutshell, brethren. And no true Mormon will deny it. (I don’t have the space to address specific concerns on Mormon theology so I’m providing alink for those who wish to learn more.) My point is that by choosing someone who’s not a Christian, Chuck Pierce had to have received his “mantle bestowing instructions” from someone other than God, if he got them at all. In his books, Beck clearly lays out his beliefs. He’s not a cookie cutter Mormon by any stretch. In fact, the beliefs he holds are a blend of Mormonism, New Age, New Thought, and occult! Which begs the question: If Chuck Pierce is a true prophet of God, how could he have missed this?
Before I expand on the mantle presentation and its significance, I must point out that many people believe that the NAR is a theological cult even though its movers and shakers (I mean this quite literally) insist that it’s not.
So, what exactly is a cult? Noted Bible scholar and founder of the Christian Research Institute, Walter Martin, described the cult of liberalism thusly:
It is a cult because it follows every outlined structure of cultism; its own revelations; its own gurus, and its denial–systematically–of all sound systematic Christian theology. It is a cult because it passes its leadership on to the next group that takes over–either modifying, expanding or contracting–the same heresies; dressing them up in different language, and passing them on. It is theologically corrupt because it is bibliologically corrupt; it denies the authority of Scripture, it ruins its own theology. And it ends in immorality; because the only way you could have gotten to this homosexual, morally relativistic garbage–which is today in our denominational structures–is if the leadership of those denominations denied the authority of the Scriptures and Jesus Christ as Lord. (Walter Martin, The Cult of Liberalism, CD Rom, 1985)
Dr. Martin had strong opinions on the cults and the occult. In the above discussion he expressed his concern over liberalism, which had infiltrated the visible Church. Some of the NAR’s teaching fits Dr. Martin’s definition. Besides denying the authority of Scripture and relying on new revelations, NAR promotes Dominionism. Three quick examples: 1) Satan usurped man’s dominion over the earth through the temptation of Adam and Eve; 2) The Church is God’s instrument to take dominion back from Satan; 3) Jesus cannot or will not return until the Church has taken dominion by gaining control of the earth’s governmental and social institutions. (Source)
Other unbiblical beliefs are:
Leading figures in this seemingly loosely organized movement claim that these prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth. They believe they are laying the foundation for a global church, governed by them. (Source)
So now that you understand a bit about the NAR, I’ll move on to the mantle ceremony.
It’s not often we’re given the opportunity to witness a couple of high ranking false prophets, one NAR the other LDS, sharing a stage together …except at the “Reclaim America” events. Because Beck was involved, the ceremony caught the attention of the press and the news quickly spread throughout the blogosphere. Not surprisingly, there were NAR folk who were not happy when they learned that their second in command (for now C. Peter Wagner is the self-professed “Presiding Apostle”) had mantled a Mormon. What’s the significance of receiving a “mantle”?:
Anyone who is deeply involved in the NAR understands what it means when a prophet presents a “mantle” to someone. This practice is an allusion to a story in 1 Kings 19:19, when the prophet Elijah gives to the prophet Elisha his cloak–or “mantle,” as the word is rendered in the King James Version. This biblical story is interpreted by people in the NAR as a symbolic action, showing that the prophet Elijah was naming the prophet Elisha as his prophetic successor.
So when Pierce presented a mantle to Beck, people in the audience–who regard Pierce as a prophet–understood that their prophet was conferring some type of prophetic status on Beck. This should trouble Christians. Why? Because a leading prophet in the NAR is recognizing a member of the Mormon church–a cult of Christianity, which rejects essential doctrines of the Christian faith– as a true messenger of God. A true prophet of God would do no such thing.
Pierce apparently felt the need to offer a further justification for his action. Yesterday he posted a lengthier comment in which he acknowledged that Beck is a Mormon–though he also hinted that Beck may be on the path to becoming fully Christian. (And take notice that he referred to Beck as a specific individual’s “son in the Lord”–language that is typically used by Christians to describe a true Christian believer.) Certainly, many of Pierce’s followers have interpreted Pierce’s action to mean that he recognizes Beck as a fellow Christian. (Source)
First off, when Glenn Beck repents of his sins and puts his faith in the Jesus Christ of the Bible and leaves his church, we’ll know he’s sincere. But at the moment he has placed his faith in the Jesus Mormon founder and “prophet” Joseph Smith dreamed up, the Jesus who, according to Smith’s writings, is the spirit brother of Lucifer.
What’s so amusing about what went on at the Global Spheres Center is that both of these men are false prophets. Since there’s no denying this, we can safely say that neither one of them is saved. All we need do is look at the fruit. Their fruit’s so rotten that Smuckers would reject it.
Who do we have to thank for mainstreaming the NAR? Pro-family leaders! They’ve made a concerted effort to team up with apostates in their all out effort to “save America.” As a result, a whole host of undiscerning Christians, who trust evangelical leaders, think that anyone involved in pro-family causes are true believers. No doubt some of them are. But many are false converts. The Fact is, anyone who buys into NAR’s unscriptural beliefs is extremely weak in discerning truth from fiction.
Unbeknownst to many people in the Church, the religious and/or Christian Right (CR) and other leaders in the evangelical community have joined together with NAR and LDS folks in order to fight the culture war. Ecumenicism, anyone? And until recently very few Christians even realized this was going on. I reported on the CR’s penchant for joining forces with apostates here.
“The NAR is powerful,” says author and speaker John Lanagan, “and thankfully does not rule the entire Body of Christ. But what have NAR leaders brought us? False eschatology, false visions, contemplative prayer (IHOP-KC and Bethel Redding), twisted doctrine, introduction to quantum mysticism (Bill Johnson, Mark Chironna), occult Kabbalah (Pierce), and mantles to nowhere.” (Source)
Lanagan’s reference to “Kabbalah” caught my attention. So I decided to investigate. Although I don’t always agree with The Berean Call, I’m going to include an excerpt from a piece they wrote on Pierce’s infatuation with Kabbalah:
Chuck Pierce, along with his partner, Robert Heidler, teaches much more than keeping the Old Testament feasts. Indeed, they have gone far beyond keeping such celebrations as Passover and have delved into “Christianized” forms of astrology, numerology, etc., and the kabbalah(embraced by celebrities Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, et al.)
An infatuation with mysticism will always take one away from the Scriptures and now takes Pierce and Heidler into Jewishmysticism. For example, consider the following statement from Kabbalah 365, “Daily Fruit from the Tree of Life,” Day 131: “Although the air of the earthly atmosphere is thick in volume and mass, the mystery wisdom of the spirit realm still manages to enter this world because of the birds. For when the birds are in flight, their flapping wings cut through the thickness of the atmosphere, enabling in the moment for the mystery wisdom of the spirit realm to come through to our world.”
On May 2, 2008, Pierce issued what he calls “A Key Prophetic Word!” that parallels the kaballah: “I have come to make room for you to ascend to a new height. Extend your wings. Then extend them again. Stretch them to the left and the right. It is time for you to take flight!” (http://www.glory-of-zion.org/outmail/5-2-08_EuropeTripLetterOnline.htm).
Here’s another example: “I am sorting out those situations that are presently confining you. I am coming in with a sorting instrument to begin to sort that which has kept evil in your midst, working against My best purpose for your life. I will sort out the confusion that is around you. I am sending help now. What you need will be sorted out and your path will be rearranged. I AM coming down and cutting through the atmosphere that has been too thick for your vision to progress” (Ibid.).
That’s another parallel to kabbalah: “Your mind serves as a mail sorting room, where thousands of pieces of mail flow in to be sorted. The items that cannot be ‘sorted’ are swept into a pile, which we call the subconscious. Kabbalah gives you ten slots (Sephiroth) to sort the incoming mind processes in to, and making things manageable!” (http://www.thelivinglightfoundation.com/classesKabbalah.php).
(Links are BC’s — Source)
First of all, doesn’t God tell His people in no uncertain terms to stay away from occult practices? (Leviticus 18:1-5) Jewish mysticism is all about the occult. And besides that, Kabbalah’s considered a cult! Obviously Prophet Pierce is aware of this fact and has chosen to disobey God by immersing himself in occult practices. And the sheep follow the wolf into the woods…
Even though I found nothing to link Glenn Beck to Jewish mysticism, John Lanagan pointed me to a Youtube video produced by discerners over at Psalm 86 that links Mormonism to the Kabbalah. View the video here.
So – if NAR and LDS are truly Christian, as they claim, how can they possibly be involved in Jewish mysticism? Moreover, if NAR and LDS are truly Christian, as they claim, which of them is the real deal? Inquiring minds want to know.
Anyone who wishes to know the truth must go to the scriptures to find it. “The best way to guard yourself against falsehood and false teachers,” says Charles Ryrie, “is to know the truth. To spot a counterfeit, study the real thing. Any believer who “correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) and who makes a careful study of the Bible can identify false doctrine. For example, a believer who has read the activities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Matthew 3:16-17 will immediately question any doctrine that denies the Trinity. Therefore, step one is to study the Bible and judge all teaching by what the Scripture says.” (Source)
If a professing Christian holds fast to what the Bible teaches, the conclusion he will come to is that NAR and LDS theology is decidedlyunbiblical. And if their beliefs don’t line up with Scripture (reject what God expressly says in His Word) then it matters not that they’re “good people” or “good deed doers,” or really good looking, in reality they’re the enemy of God. In other words, they’re not with Him, they’re in cahoots with Satan. “Whoever is not with me is against me…” (Matthew 12:30)
There’s a stark divide between historic orthodox Christianity and the New Apostolic Reformation, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kabbalah, Word of Faith,Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hebrew Roots, and a whole host of equally dangerous counterfeits that spread a false gospel that saves no one. (1 Cor. 15:1-6)
I’ll close with a reminder from Peter:
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Controversy Stirs as ‘Prophet’ Chuck Pierce Bestows ‘Mantle’ on Mormon Glenn Beck—Christian News Network
What is Kabbalah?—Got Questions
Grave sucking, prayers/baptism of the dead, and Kabbalah—video produced by Psalm 86 lays out “connection of modern heresy to Kabbalah. Via the adoration of the dead from NAR (hyper-charismatics) to Mormons to Catholics. It all stems from Jewish Mysticism thus Kabbalah”
For those who have concerns about the NAR, Diana Lesperance of Narrow Way Apologetics offers her advice:
keep an eye on two organizations: the International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders, led by “Convening Apostle” John P. Kelly, and its daughter structure, the European Coalition of Apostolic Leaders, led by “convener” Jan-Aage Torp. These two networks are energetically working “to build apostolic government in all cities and regions.” You may be surprised to learn just how extensively apostles in many nations are networking to promote NAR teachings. Here are links to their websites.
That the American Church has problems is no surprise. Critics of the Church, many of whom have never actually taken an active part, have hurled pot shots at the Church since its inception. Churches are led and comprised of sinful, fallen people. Accordingly, there will be imperfections, shortcomings, failures, etc. Name an institution managed by people that does not have the same pitfalls.
That said, the current Church in America not only has problems, it has BIG problems. I’m talking about problems that are so huge they threaten the very survival of not only the Church itself, but of our nation, as well.
During the Twentieth Century, liberalism pretty much killed America’s mainstream denominational churches; and legalism did the same thing to America’s fundamentalist conservative churches.
In mainstream denominational churches, the rejection of the veracity of the Scriptures, the repudiation of essential Biblical doctrines, and the reception of liberal social agendas sent people by the millions fleeing these fellowships. Virtually every mainline denomination has been losing membership for decades.
For example, it is one thing for the state to grovel before politically correct ideology and embrace such moral deviances as homosexual marriage. To begin with, the state has no rightful place in sanctioning, defining, or legislating marriage at all. Marriage was never a state matter. It is a sacred matter. Our Creator has already sanctioned and defined marriage. What the state does or doesn’t do is irrelevant. As with most issues involving faith, the best thing civil government can do is butt out. But for the Church to embrace homosexual marriage is another matter altogether. No Christian who has even a rudimentary understanding of the Biblical and Natural laws regarding marriage could maintain fellowship with a church or denomination that would surrender to the amoral machinations of a degraded society. And that is just one issue that has caused millions of believers to flee America’s mainline churches and denominations.
For fundamentalist conservative churches, legalism has had the same effect as liberalism among mainline churches: it has pretty much killed them. During the last half of the Twentieth Century, fundamentalist conservative churches exploded in growth. A few decades ago, the largest churches and Sunday Schools in America were fundamentalist. But, just as mainstream churches succumbed to liberalism, fundamentalist churches succumbed to legalism. As the Scripture notes, “the letter killeth,” and, indeed, it has pretty much destroyed America’s fundamentalist churches. In fact, as a movement, it HAS destroyed them.
Accordingly, going into the Twenty First Century, these two cancers were already major problems within the American Church. But the problems that have wormed their way into the Church during the first decade and a half of the Twenty First Century have grown in both intensity and pervasiveness to the point that only a miracle from Heaven can avert impending disaster.
Here are the major problems that are destroying the American Church:
America’s churches went from a “church growth” ideology in the latter half of the Twentieth Century to a “success” orientation in the formative years of the twenty-first century. “Success” is now the driving motivation of the vast majority of America’s churches. But “success” is not defined in Scriptural terms; it is defined in secular terms.
A major study released by George Barna a few months ago clearly showed that “success” is the predominant philosophy of America’s churches. And Barna’s research listed the five-fold criteria that determined “success” in the minds of most pastors and churches: 1) Attendance, 2) Offerings, 3) Number of programs, 4) Size of staff, and, 5) Square footage of facilities. In fact, Barna’s research showed that the vast majority of pastors will purposely NOT preach what they know is Biblical truth in order to accommodate the five-fold “success” goals listed. This has led to popularity-preaching; entertainment-oriented programs; soft, non-confrontational teaching; and an overall weak and compromising pulpit.
The “success” orientation of the modern church is a major problem.
*The Egregious Misinterpretation of Romans 13, the 501c3 IRS non-profit organization status for churches, and Statism
Though these three issues each have an independent nature, I put them together as they are intricately connected.
Though many pastors and church leaders would probably not be willing to admit it, for all intents and purposes, our churches are mostly more concerned with being the compliant servant of the state than they are the obedient servant of God. The way most pastors teach Romans 13 is nothing more than the promotion of idolatry. Christians are taught to obey civil government almost without question. As was the case in Nazi Germany, America’s churches are taught that obedience to the state is obedience to God.
Have you been to a modern church wedding recently? If you have, as the pastor pronounced the bride and groom as husband and wife, you probably heard him say, “As an officer of the laws of the State of (your State) and in the presence of God…I now pronounce you man (or husband) and wife.”
The IRS 501c3 non-profit organization status for churches (instituted in 1954) has turned pastors and church officers into corporate officers of the state–and most pastors and church leaders KNOW it–even if they are unwilling to admit it.
It’s all about preserving the church’s non-profit status so contributors can deduct their offerings on income tax forms and so that the church doesn’t have to pay sales taxes on what they purchase or property taxes on what they own. And whatever pastors and church officers are required by the state to do in order to preserve that non-profit status, they will comply.
This doesn’t require a knock at the door by an IRS agent; it doesn’t require threatening letters or phone calls; it doesn’t require any direct show of force by any government agency against the church. Pastors and church officers INSTINCTIVELY know where the “third rail” is and will avoid it at all costs in order to not jeopardize their non-profit status.
The desire to comply with the IRC (Internal Revenue Code) for churches makes it easy for pastors to teach the Hitlerian version of total submission to civil government.
Statism is NOT patriotism. Neither is it Christian. The Bible is chock-full of examples of resistance to unlawful government. I’m sure many of our pastors and church leaders have never personally studied the issue and are simply regurgitating what they have been taught. I am confident that many of them are truly ignorant of what they are doing, but that doesn’t change what they are doing. Wittingly or unwittingly, they have allowed themselves to become statists: the sheepish servants of the state.
The condition of the American Church today is EXACTLY the same as was the condition of the German and Russian Church during the rise of Adolph Hitler and Joe Stalin. This is why the Church seems totally unconcerned and indifferent to the growing Police State in America today.
*Ignorance of Natural Law and the Law of Nations
God-ordained Natural Law has not been taught from America’s pulpits since the Nineteenth Century. The vast majority of pastors and church leaders in America are totally ignorant of these immutable laws.
The lack of understanding regarding Natural Law has made it virtually impossible for the American Church to truly understand the fundamental principles of good government and liberty. All most Christians know about government is what they hear on FOX News or from Rush Limbaugh. Their pastors almost never broach the subject. And for good reason: most pastors are themselves ignorant on the subject. Therefore, about all they can talk about is “liberal” vs. “conservative,” or Democrat vs. Republican. The divine principles of Natural Law that are supposed to govern nations and man-to-man relationships are foreign to the thinking and understanding of the vast majority of pastors and churches.
The ignorance and misunderstanding of Natural Law by the Church has created the societal and political conditions that now exist in this country.
But there is one more major problem in the American Church. And I believe this problem is the GREATEST problem of all. And, to be honest, it had not dawned on me how pervasive and deep this problem was until last week.
*The Church is Filled With Hate
In my column last week, I used the movie, American Sniper, as a catalyst to point out that the United States has been waging unjust war on countries such as Iraq–and meddling in the internal affairs of countries such as Iraq–for decades. I also pointed out that not all Muslims are terrorists and to condemn all Muslims on the basis of Muslim Jihadists is wrong.
Folks, you can’t believe the firestorm of anger that deluged me. My Facebook page registered over 100,000 views of my comments and precipitated a flood of hate-filled responses. Here is a sample of the more-mild reactions:
“All Christians should be standing against Islam and proclaiming America for the kingdom of Christ. I am not a Muslim sympathizer and I have lost respect for you, Mr. Baldwin. Islam is anti-Christianity. You cannot serve 2 masters.”
By standing against Islam, Cathy means it is right and righteous to go to war against Muslim nations, because they are “anti-Christianity.” So, Cathy, since when is it America’s responsibility to export Christianity over the barrel of a gun? I suppose we should then invade and destroy every Muslim nation in existence, including Saudi Arabia.
Speaking of Saudi Arabia, if we can believe the official story of 9/11 (which I don’t), the Muslim terrorists that perpetrated those attacks were all from Saudi Arabia, NOT Iraq. Why didn’t we invade Saudi Arabia? Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9/11 and everyone on the planet knows it. In truth, Saudi Arabia has done more to fund Islamist terrorists than any other nation in the region. Yet, official American foreign policy regards Saudi Arabia as our friend and ally.
But Saudi Arabia is a Muslim nation, which means they are “anti-Christianity,” so Cathy (and many like her) believes we should go to war with these nations to advance “the kingdom of Christ.” But what about Judaism, Cathy? Judaism is as “anti-Christianity” as Islam. What about Hinduism? What about Buddhism? What about Atheism? Is America supposed to go to war with every nation of the world that has a population of people who are “anti-Christianity”? If so, we should be attacking most of the nations of the world.
And since when can we evangelize the pagan peoples of the world via brute force? When has that ever worked? And what Scripture do you base that theory on? People are won to Christ with the message of God’s amazing grace and love through Christ’s death on the cross. What? Did God commission us to kill and destroy all of the heathen of the world? I thought our commission was to love and win them, not attack and kill them.
But a host of attacks against my comments last week were much more caustic. Here is an example:
“Imam Mohammed Judas Baldwin; My wife and I were listening on line to your 1-25-15 program, I shut the program off when I heard your rant against your Christian brother and sister Pastors. My wife astutely said: ‘Muslim Lover?’ I believe I have figured out your love of all things Islam, and your betrayal of God, Jesus Christ, and Christians. Your God Allah, Your savior Mohammad, and your fellow Muslims. Allah offered you a better deal. Paradise and 72 Virgins. The Virgins, in your case, 50/50 prepubescent boys and girls. Judas Iscariot had the decency to hang himself for his betrayal of my savior Jesus Christ. How about you? You can get Allah and the virgins, sooner, if you do it to day…Shame on you, you Fool.”
The message I delivered last Sunday, and to which Michael was reacting to, was taken from Matthew 5:44, “Love your enemies,” and from Matthew 7:12, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
And, yes, Michael, I do love Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, etc. They are all souls for whom Christ died.
If unbelievers and pagans want to be filled with hate, so be it; but hatred has NO PLACE WHATSOEVER in the heart of a Christian. And after receiving tens of thousands of hate-filled responses regarding my comments last week, it dawned on me that the American Church is largely filled with hate–hatred against the Muslim people.
Ever since 9/11, Christians and conservatives have developed a hatred and animus, not just against Jihadist-Muslims (which, even that is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE for a Christian), but against Muslim people everywhere. All Muslims are commonly castigated and vilified just because they are Muslims.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is absolutely NOT TRUE that all Muslims are anti-American, anti-Christian murderers and terrorists. It is NOT TRUE that all Muslims want to enact Sharia Law in the United States. It is NOT TRUE that all Muslims are our enemies.
I wonder how many of these Muslim haters have ever met a Muslim in person. I have. I have met many–both in the United States and in the Middle East. They are NOT all America-haters. They are NOT all trying to kill us. America has had Christian missionaries ministering among Muslim nations for as long as our country has been in existence. And many Christians would be shocked to know that overall the Gospel has received greater acceptance by the Muslim population than by other religions of the region–much more, in fact, than by the Jewish population.
Here is a letter I received from a Christian missionary named Jeff:
“Hi, Chuck! We…want to tell you that we stand 100% with what you said in both your column and to your congregation. We have been missionaries for 40 years, a good ten of those in Muslim countries (Tunisia, Libya, Jordan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Bosnia, and Albania). We have not just met or talked to a Muslim, we have witnessed to them in depth for years. It is SO RARE to hear anyone nowadays saying anything conciliatory towards Muslims, much less positive. I thank you for the things you have said, and am so very sorry for the hateful responses you received in the comments to your column that reveal the dark heart of many Christians in the U.S.”
To be honest, most of the Muslims I have met in the U.S. and in the Middle East demonstrate more kindness, common courtesy, and genuine compassion than many of the so-called Christians I have known.
Let’s be honest: some Muslims are Muslims in name only, much like many Baptists are Baptists in name only, or Catholics are Catholics in name only, or Mormons are Mormons in name only, or Jews are Jews in name only, etc. There are millions of Christians in America’s churches that couldn’t tell you what’s in the Bible to save their lives. They couldn’t quote the Ten Commandments; they couldn’t quote the Golden Rule; they couldn’t name Christ’s apostles; they couldn’t quote five verses of Scripture from memory if their lives depended on it. There are many Muslims in the exact same condition.
Furthermore, not all Muslims, who are devout, take the verses of the Koran that speak of Jihad and killing infidels, etc., to literally mean killing all non-Muslims today. No, not all of them do!
Think of this: how many of us Christians believe that the civil laws and military commands that God gave to the children of Israel through Moses should be literally incorporated into the Church and into the civil laws of America today? Do you believe we should be stoning people to death for adultery, or breaking the Sabbath (So, any Christian nurse or policeman or physician or fireman, etc., who works on Saturday should be stoned to death?), or blasphemy, or for children who curse their parents? Do you? Should we literally destroy entire nations–including men, women, and children today? These things were literally commanded by Jehovah God for the children of Israel under Moses. And, yes, God is God and is righteous and just as much when he condemns as when he forgives. No man sits in judgment of God. His ways are always right and holy. But God is NOT giving direct audible commands to anyone in the U.S. government today–or to anyone in our church pulpits, for that matter.
Many Muslims I’ve met interpret those passages in the Koran like we do those Old Testament Scriptures. Why can Christians interpret our Bible in this manner but Muslims cannot interpret their bible in a similar fashion?
In fact, I know of several Christian pastors and preachers in America who mimic Muslim Jihadists and believe that we SHOULD be implementing the Mosaic Law in our country today. If they had their way, we would be stoning people to death for the sins mentioned above just as they did under Moses. Have you ever witnessed a stoning? It is as equally torturous as beheading–maybe even more so.
Beyond that, these Muslim haters seem to be completely ignorant of the fact that every day there are tens of thousands of Muslims who risk their lives resisting Muslim Jihadists. It was a Muslim village that risked their lives against the Taliban to save the American fighting man that was depicted in the movie, Lone Survivor. Why don’t we recognize this reality? It’s because hatred and bigotry against the Muslim people have blinded us.
Plus, the dirty truth that most Americans, including most Christians, seem unwilling to accept is that most of the conflict between the United States and the Muslim nations of the Middle East has been created by our own federal government.
I speak regularly with retired Special Forces military personnel who share with me the way our own CIA and State Department have bullied, lied to, intimidated, and betrayed our Muslim friends in the Middle East. They have seen it up close and personal. This has been going on for decades. In fact, our federal government has tortured hundreds of people in the Middle East in some of the most vile ways possible. The only difference is, they don’t broadcast it over television.
I recently asked a retired Green Beret, “How much of the conflict between the U.S. and Middle Eastern states would stop if Washington, D.C., would simply stop meddling in the internal affairs of those countries?” This Green Beret served in the the Middle East for years; he was a Special Ops soldier. He saw the surreptitious and covert things that our government routinely does–things the public doesn’t see. His answer to me was, “100%.”
Our own federal government put the Taliban in power, put Al Qaeda in power, and put ISIS in power. Our federal government often uses war and conflict to cover up its own murderous activity or to kill the very people that they formerly gave arms to, supported, befriended, etc. Whether one wants to believe it or not, most of the conflict in the Middle East has been caused by our own government. We are our own worst enemy. How convenient that we make Muslim people everywhere the straw man to divert attention away from the real criminals.
Yes, the American Church has a BIG problem: much of it is filled with HATE. To be sure, Christians are instructed to hate “evil,” but nowhere are we instructed to hate people–any people. Yet, the hatred of Muslims by Christians in America appears to be epidemic.
Hatred is a cancer. Hatred, bitterness, resentment, bigotry, etc., kill the soul. When Jesus instructed us to love our enemies, it was NOT for our enemies’ sake; it was for OUR sake. How can God bless a hate-filled Church when He commands us to love our enemies? How can He bless warmongers when he tells us that it is peacemakers who are blessed?
When America MUST defend itself against any enemy, regardless of nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, etc., we are obligated to do so. In the Twentieth Century, we fought hot wars against Christians from Germany and Italy, against Shintoists from Japan, against atheists from North Korea, and against Buddhists, Taoists, and Confucianists from Vietnam. But there is a huge difference between defending oneself against an enemy that poses and imminent threat and fomenting hatred against an entire people for the crimes of a few.
How can Christians claim to love God and believe in winning lost souls to Christ be so consumed with hatred against an entire people–most of whom have done NOTHING to harm them? Yes, I realize there are some who call themselves Christians who hate other people besides Muslims. Some hate everyone who is a Jew; some hate everyone who is a minority; some hate everyone who is victimized by an aberrant sexual lifestyle, etc. Hatred has been with us since the dawn of human history. But in my entire lifetime, I have never witnessed anything like I am witnessing now: the pervasive, widespread, almost universal hatred of the Muslim people–by Christians.
As I said, hatred destroys the soul. And I fear that hatred is destroying the soul of the Church.
Whose fault is it that mosques are being built in America? Many of the buildings being used for these new mosques are abandoned CHURCH buildings. The darkness of false religion will always fill the vacuum that is left when truth departs. And the fact is, Christianity is dying in the United States. No, it’s not dead; but it’s dying. There are tens of thousands of empty abandoned churches all over America. More and more Americans are turning their backs on the Church. What difference does it make which form of darkness invades the land? The problem is that the true light (the Church) is failing. What do you expect will happen?
What difference does it make whether the darkness takes the form of Islam, or Buddhism, or Shintoism, or Judaism, or Atheism, or Communism, or any other “ism?” The problem is not the presence of darkness; the problem is the absence of light.
The Church has lost its light and its love. Christ is doing what He said He would do to those who lose their love: He is removing the candlestick.
The American Church has focused on being “successful” instead of being righteous; it has capitulated to the lordship of the state; it fears the IRS more than it fears God; it has stopped preaching the “hard” messages of the Bible; it is popularity-driven, entertainment-driven, and comfort-driven; it has abandoned the fundamental principles of Natural Law and liberty; it has replaced genuine patriotism with statism; and it has used Romans 13 as justification for idolatry.
A quote from Charles Caleb Colton (1820) is in order here: “Men will wrangle for religion; write for it; fight for it; die for it; anything but–live for it.”
The Muslim people are NOT our problem; the problem is the American Church. It needs to start living its religion.
As did millions of other Americans, I went to see the hugely popular Clint Eastwood-directed movie, “American Sniper.” Here are some of my thoughts:
No one, at least not me, doubts the patriotism, courage, and sacrifice of our nation’s military personnel–especially our combat forces. I certainly do not share Michael Moore’s opinion that Chris Kyle (and the rest of our military snipers) was a coward. Snipers have been effective in helping to wage America’s wars since our War for Independence. In lawful combat, snipers are as needful as any other specialized fighting man.
My issue is not with Chris Kyle–or with any other American fighting man. My issue is with the justness of the war Chris Kyle was ordered to fight. Yes, I realize that we have an all-volunteer army; but let’s be honest enough to admit that the vast majority of our young people joining the U.S. military sincerely believe that they are doing their patriotic duty by volunteering to conduct war against America’s “enemies.” They learn nothing else from family, school, movies and television, and church. The singular message they hear is that everything the U.S. military does is right and righteous and that every military engagement is just and justified. I’m sure Chris Kyle was no different.
However, at the risk of sounding unpatriotic, after watching the real-life military exploits of Chris Kyle on the Big Screen, I left the theater extremely angry.
In the first place, Saddam Hussein and the country of Iraq had absolutely NOTHING to do with 9/11, and virtually everyone on the planet now knows it. G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney unabashedly lied to the American people about the necessity of America invading Iraq. We invaded Iraq under false pretenses; we occupied Iraq under false pretenses; and we took (and lost) thousands of lives under false pretenses.
If those miscreants in Washington, D.C., want to invade countries that truly have Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), why don’t they invade Russia, or China, or Great Britain, or North Korea, or India, or Pakistan, or Israel? We haven’t heard the first word about the need to invade and occupy any of those countries. Why not? Each of those countries has known stockpiles of nuclear weapons. And when it comes to abusing human rights, most of the countries listed above have miserable records. But, no one from either party in Washington, D.C., even broaches the idea of invading and occupying (or even bombing) any of these nations. But we were told that the little country of Iraq posed such a severe and imminent threat against the United States that a military invasion was required. Everyone in the world now knows that was poppycock.
And for the benefit of my Christian readers, Saddam Hussein was one of the most tolerant and accommodating Muslim leaders in the entire region. Christian churches thrived under Hussein. For the most part, Hussein happily accommodated the exercise of the Christian religion in Iraq. He even had at least one Christian in his cabinet.
What has happened to Christianity in Iraq since the United States overthrew Saddam Hussein? Several recent reports have documented the fact that, for all intents and purposes, Christianity has been totally expunged from the country of Iraq. Christians have fled the country in terror due to intense persecution. There are no churches left in Iraq. This is AFTER the “liberation” of Iraq and the installation of a puppet government by the United States.
Secondly, as I watched the depiction of U.S. Marines going house-to-house kicking down doors and manhandling old men, women, and children, it occurred to me that these exact same tactics are now being employed by American police agencies against the people of the United States. Our so-called SWAT teams are nothing more than occupying military units on American soil. The strategies, philosophies, mindset, and tactics are exactly the same as soldiers in a war zone.
Thirdly, ask yourself these questions: what if, instead of the place being Fallujah, Iraq, the place was Kansas City, Missouri? Instead of the invasion force being the U.S. military, it was military troops from China, Russia, or North Korea? What if the occupying military snipers were killing American women and children instead of Iraqi women and children? Would we still consider them “heroes?” And would we act any differently from the Iraqi people who were simply trying to defend their homes and communities against an occupying foreign power?
When I left the theater, I was not angry with Chris Kyle because he happened to apparently be the best at what he was trained to do; I was angry with the politicians in Washington, D.C., who sent Chris Kyle into an unjust and undeclared war against people who posed NO imminent threat to the United States.
I am also angry with an American culture that seems to lack the discernment to recognize the difference between just and unjust war. I am further angered by ubiquitous U.S. propaganda against the Muslim people in general (especially by my Christian brethren).
It seems that hardly anyone recognizes that the power-elite are engaged in a global conspiracy to pit the Muslim nations of the Middle East against the West, and vice-versa. Our own CIA has manipulated the internal affairs of Middle Eastern states for decades. The CIA put Saddam Hussein in power. Where do you think those brand new hundred-dollar bills (in the amount of millions of dollars) stored between the walls of Hussein’s house, all wrapped in Bank of America wrappers, came from?
The CIA put Osama bin Laden in power. The CIA created Al Qaeda. The CIA created ISIS. And dare we even talk about the illegal drug-running operations that have been conducted by the CIA in both Middle Eastern and Far Eastern nations (not to mention Central and South America) for at least a half-century?
It might make modern Christian leaders feel morally righteous as they constantly stir hatred in the hearts of their followers against the Muslim people, but what it really does is demonstrate their utter ignorance as to who the real enemy is.
The global elite are using radical Islamists, Jews, and Christians alike to stir fear and hatred among nations. No religion has a monopoly on hatred and violence. I remind readers that it wasn’t Muslims who killed our brave patriot forebears at Bunker Hill, Lexington Green, and Concord Bridge. It was Christians. It wasn’t Muslims who invaded the newly formed United States in 1812. It was Christians. It wasn’t Muslims who were beating, imprisoning, and murdering non-traditional believers in early America. It was Christians.
And for all of you who are scared silly about the threat of Sharia Law, I can tell you for a fact that there are numerous Christian preachers today who openly promote bringing America under the civil laws of Old Testament Israel. Yes, that means legalizing capital punishment for adulteresses, children who curse their parents, people who break the Sabbath (Who would define that?), people who are guilty of blasphemy (Who would define that?) homosexuals and lesbians, etc. If these preachers had anything to do with it, we Americans would suffer as much under their brand of “Christianity” as did the people of Israel under the Pharisees and as many who are currently suffering under the heavy hand of Islamic militants today.
And if you think there is religious liberty for the Jewish people in the modern state of Israel, you haven’t been there. Let a Jew in Israel convert to Christianity and try to publicly witness for his faith (in much the same manner as did the Apostles in the New Testament) and see what happens. The persecution is intense.
When I was in Israel, I preached in the two Baptist churches in that country. One was in Jerusalem; the other was in Bethlehem. What I discovered surprised me: over ninety percent of the Christians in those churches were not converted Jews; they were converted Muslims. And most of them were Palestinians. In fact, Christianity is growing exponentially among the Palestinian people, even as we speak.
Christians who are constantly fear-mongering against Muslim people are playing right into the hands of the globalists who are using people of different faiths and cultures to inflame hatred and violence, thus creating the conditions for globalists to come to the rescue with their plans for world government. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The American people have far more to fear from Washington, D.C., than they do from Baghdad, Damascus, or Tehran.
As I left the theater, I was angry with a federal government that cares absolutely nothing about our brave U.S. military personnel. They send them to fight unjust wars only then to treat them like second-class citizens in our VA hospitals. If D.C. truly cared about our military personnel, they would never ask them to risk life and limb except for those times that are truly necessary for the safety and security of the United States.
America has NO RIGHT to take upon itself the role of the world’s policeman. It has NO RIGHT to send U.S. fighting men to vindicate the policies and prejudices of the United Nations. The President of the United States has NO RIGHT to invade and occupy foreign countries without a Declaration of War by Congress.
And in the case of rogue militants who pose an imminent danger to the people of the United States, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison handled it constitutionally by asking Congress for a letter of marque and reprisal. Congressman Ron Paul introduced just such a bill following the 9/11 attacks. Had Congress followed the Constitution and passed Dr. Paul’s bill, much of the turmoil and unrest that currently exists in the Middle East today would have been completely circumvented. But, then again, the globalists would not have been able to inflame the world against each other like they have.
I am angry because, in the name of fighting the War on Terror around the world, the American people are quickly losing the liberties guaranteed in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. And out of a misguided spirit of patriotism, the majority of the American people seem fine with it.
I am angry because our brave military troops are being asked to give their arms and legs and families and lives for the selfish, political, and economic interests of the ruling elite–and are also asked to take the lives of thousands of innocents in the process.
If you ask me, Chris Kyle was the victim of a sadistic and out-of-control federal leviathan that respects NOTHING. Not the rule of law. Not liberty–at home or abroad. Not family–our own or the families of other nations. Not constitutional government. Not national borders–our own or anyone else’s. And certainly not the sacredness of life.
Yes, I watched the movie “American Sniper.” And I left the theater angry.
What makes America America? What distinguishes this country from the nations of the world–or from world history, for that matter? Even casual historians must admit that there has never been a country like the United States of America ever to exist. This nation is unique to world history. There has never been a country like this–and probably will never be one like it again.
As hard as it is for the anti-God types to admit, America has a deeply-rooted Christian history and culture. However, when one says, “America is a Christian country,” (usually spoken by a Christian, of course), he or she may mean something that NEVER existed. So, let’s set the record straight: America was never founded as a theocracy. And even though there are some well-meaning, albeit naïve, Christian people today who pretend that America once had, and should have again, a theocratic-type government and society, the fact is, America was NEVER a theocracy.
The only theocracy in the history of the world was Old Testament Israel under Moses. After the death of Moses, God expected Israel to be governed by the principles established through Moses. Even the reign of Israel’s greatest king, King David, could not be classified as a theocracy. He, too, was expected to adhere to the tenets and principles of Moses. Only through Moses did God directly govern the people. And even within the government of Israel, God established the roots of what became known as republican (small “r”) government. But I will save that discussion for a later day.
So, if by “Christian nation” people mean that America was established as some sort of theocracy, they are gravely mistaken. It is also unfortunate that some well-meaning (at least, I think they are well-meaning) Christian people give the unchurched world the impression that they are trying to create some sort of theocracy in America today. Some even go so far as to teach that we don’t need a Constitution or State and municipal laws–and any such laws are themselves evil. This is an asinine philosophy, to say the least.
I, for one, would never want a so-called theocracy administered by the likes of the vast majority of Christian teachers and pastors today. Are you kidding? Most of them can’t even govern a small congregation of believers who are ostensibly assembled under the same ideology, same eschatology, same ecclesiology, etc. Have you been to a church business meeting lately? You really want those people dictating national laws? God forbid!
No! There is no Moses on the scene today with new revelation dictating God’s will for the nation. That being said, there is no mistaking the fact that America has a deeply-rooted, rich Christian tradition.
America’s founders, even those who were not professing Christians, as we understand the term today, acknowledged that fact.
Benjamin Franklin wrote a pamphlet called, “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America.” It was intended to be a guide for Europeans who were thinking about relocating to this country. In it, he said, “Hence, bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be comfortable consideration to parents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practiced.”
Franklin continued, “Atheism is unknown there; infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel.”
Franklin went on: “And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects [Christian denominations] treat each other; by the remarkable prosperity with which he has been pleased to favor the whole country.”
Noah Webster (himself an outspoken Christian, of course), said, “The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free Constitutions of Government.”
Webster also said, “When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty.”
Notice, Webster did not say we should vote for “Christians.” He said we should vote for “just men who will rule in the fear of God.” That is the correct model set forth in both Natural and Revealed Law. Today, most Christians have never been taught this rudimentary truism.
Daniel Webster noted the following: “Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary.”
There is the correct understanding of America as a “Christian” nation. America’s founders never thought they were creating a theocracy, but they did have a “high veneration” for the Christian faith and “sought to incorporate its principles” into American government.
The principles of the Christian faith include both Natural and Revealed Law. The Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, especially, clearly illustrate the founder’s understanding and appreciation for these principles.
The Declaration begins, “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which THE LAWS OF NATURE AND OF NATURE’S GOD [emphasis added] entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the cause which impel them to the separation.
“We hold these truths to be SELF-EVIDENT [emphasis added], that all men are CREATED [emphasis added] equal, that they are endowed BY THEIR CREATOR [emphasis added] with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
As Thomas Jefferson quickly penned the Declaration (and he did write it rather quickly), he was borrowing heavily from John Locke and the commonly understood principles of Natural Law. Though the founders were dissimilar in regards to their understanding of Biblical teaching, to a man, they understood and agreed with the “self-evident” principles of Natural Law, or “the Laws of Nature.”
Furthermore, virtually every “right” enumerated in the Bill of Rights can be traced directly to commonly understood principles contained in Natural and Revealed Law. That fact is unassailable.
In addition to our common Christian heritage, America was united with a common language, along with a common culture and history. The loss of our Christian heritage, our common language, along with our common culture and history would certainly transform America into something other than America.
Unfortunately, however, there are those who share our common faith and history who are also contributing mightily to the destruction of America. I am talking about those who would identify themselves as Christians and/or conservatives. Of course, to hear these people talk, America’s problems are all caused by “liberals,” or Democrats. They would also single out drug-dealers (except they always seem to leave out certain politicians who are the true drug lords in America), pornographers, Hollywood entertainers (not all of whom are immoral reprobates, of course), and similar sorts, as being the cause of America’s destruction.
There is absolutely no question that a national breakdown of morality is seriously problematic to the survival of a free republic. No doubt about it! My only contention on this point is that the groups mentioned above are not the true problem; they are only symptomatic of the true problem. The real problem is the CHURCH. A soft, uncommitted, carnal, materialistic, lazy, self-righteous church is the root cause of ALL of America’s problems, including the ones mentioned above.
Too many of today’s churches are thoroughly consumed with self-righteousness and self-centeredness. They either try to mimic the world and by doing so become just like the world, or they think themselves better than the world and by doing so become worse than the world.
Phariseeism is a major problem today. Have you ever noticed that you seldom, if ever, hear a message about Christ and the Pharisees? Why is that? It’s because a study of the subject will reveal that too many church leaders are nothing more than modern-day Pharisees in practice. It’s a lesson that hits uncomfortably close to home.
Okay. Let me toot my own horn here. I have a DVD with three messages on the subject, “Christ And The Pharisees” available. And, seriously, when is the last time you ever heard the subject mentioned from anybody’s pulpit? I submit that one CANNOT possibly understand the ministry and teachings of Christ if one does not understand the contentious contest that took place between Christ and the Pharisees. If you would like to purchase this three-message series on ONE DVD, go here:
The spirit of Phariseeism is so prevalent among the Church today that is no wonder why so many unbelievers refuse to darken the doors of a church. Many of today’s Christians are as enslaved to the traditions and doctrines of men as any slave anywhere. How in the name of common sense can one expect Christians to fight for the political liberties of our country when they, themselves, are enslaved to the machinations of modern-day Pharisees?
Some of the most enslaved people on the planet are professing Christians. Many of our churches, Christian schools, colleges, seminaries, etc. are filled with the “servants of men.” The fact that our public education system fails to teach children to think critically is only matched by too many of today’s churches and Christian schools.
Not only do so many Christians have a slave mentality; they also have a war mentality. Who are the ones who are the first and loudest cheerleaders for perpetual wars of aggression in the Middle East? Christians and conservatives! But why should that surprise us? Look at our churches. What do you see? Perpetual war: infighting, gossip, slander, backbiting, name-calling, character assassination, etc. Some of the most mean-spirited, low-down, dishonest, conniving, and blood-thirsty people on the planet call themselves Christians. Believe me, if they could get away with it, there is no telling how many people in our country would be losing their heads at the hands of these pious-talking Christians. Hatred and bitterness is nothing more than murder of the heart; and millions of professing Christians are as guilty as can be.
Speaking of losing one’s head, the anti-Muslim bias and hysteria being evidenced in most churches today is absolutely alarming! In the mistaken notion that somehow it is God’s will that the American army be used as some sort of holy crusade against Islamic states, Christians are spearheading a perpetual war doctrine that has become the bane of freedom within our own country.
In the name of fighting a “war on terror,” America is being turned into a giant Police State–and Christians seem to be among its most ardent supporters. But Washington, D.C., is not fighting a “war on terror,” it is fighting a “war on liberty.” Our Bill of Rights is being decimated! We are living under an Orwellian surveillance society, the likes of which Hitler and Stalin could have only dreamed about. And, again, Christians and conservatives are among the loudest proponents.
Now that the GOP has control of both houses of Congress in Washington, D.C., and with a pro-war Democrat in the White House, we can expect an escalation of foreign wars during the next two years analogous to those of the G.W. Bush years. And, unfortunately, most of the Christian war fever seems to be predicated on the erroneous John Hagee theology that modern-Israel is Bible-Israel and, somehow, it is America’s responsibility to fight all of Israel’s wars.
The war fever demonstrated by too many Christians and conservatives is destroying our country. Endless wars abroad; hundreds of thousands of innocents killed–many of whom are our Christian brothers and sisters; trillions of dollars of deficit spending to fund these perpetual, unconstitutional wars of aggression; a burgeoning Police State at home under the rubric of “we are at war”; ad infinitum.
Worse still is the way Christian war fever has turned the nations of the world, not only against America, but against Christianity. How are our missionaries supposed to take the message of the Prince of Peace to a people whom we have just bombed into the Stone Age, killing their parents, children, brothers and sisters, etc.?
Since 1980, the United States has invaded, occupied, or bombed fourteen Islamic countries. Fourteen! But the pro-war politicians in D.C. keep telling the American people the reason that Muslims hate us is because of our freedom. What a crock! Some of us can remember when some of the best friends this country had were Islamic states in the Middle East. A meddling, intrusive, arrogant, war spirit in Washington, D.C., has turned people who were once friendly to the United States into some of our most fierce adversaries. And all Christians and conservatives can do is demand more and more war.
See this report:
And, as it appears right now, the only major prospective presidential candidate on the scene from either major party who is not marching in lock step with the war machine is Rand Paul. And you can bet that the military industrial complex, along with the military religious complex, will try to crucify Rand in the same way they crucified his dad, Ron Paul.
The assault against the United States is massive. We are fast losing our Christian heritage and culture–and Christians are as much to blame as anyone. They have tried to turn the Lord’s Church into a playground or entertainment center–or even worse, a corporation. Phariseeism is rampant. As a result, unbelievers have lost all respect for churches in general. I, for one, don’t blame them.
We have lost our understanding of, and appreciation for, Natural Law. Even most pastors cannot articulate the fundamental principles of Natural Law, even though this is the Law upon which America was founded. This means, we have lost the true meaning of America’s Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.
We cheer as our country has turned into a “Warfare State.” We applaud as our nation has turned into an Orwellian surveillance society. We are losing our common language, our common history and heritage, and our common faith. Christianity in 2014-15 is not even comparable to Christianity in 1775-76. We have traded Jonas Clark for Joel Osteen.
Yes, the very people who claim to love America the most and who claim to be interested in her blessing and prosperity are too often the very ones who are helping to destroy her.
Before I report on Apostle Bill’s endeavor to involve his followers in his “grave sucking,” undertaking, I must tell you a brief story that involves an angel, a gift, and slaying a dragon.
Wednesday night at half past 11, I was in bed reading when a white lightning bolt struck the floor and out stepped a dazzling creature with wings the length of a 747. “Do not fear!” he said when he saw the alarmed expression on my face. “I am the angel Archibald!” My husband was sacked out next to me with a pillow over his head so he announced in a quiet voice, “I have come with a message from the Lord of hosts.”
A flood of feathers floated around the room so I covered my nose and mouth with both hands. But it was too late. “Ah-choo!”
“God bless you!” said the angel.
Now I was certain that he was the Lord’s messenger. I tapped my husband on the back and whispered, “Wake up.” Dead to the world. A poke in the ribs and, “Honey…you gotta see this.”
A muffled voice groaned, “Whuuut?”
“We have a visitor.”
The pillow came off his head and he sat bolt upright in bed. Seconds later he spotted Archibald hovering in the corner. “Holy cow!” he exclaimed.
“Cow?” said the angel, seeming a bit cross. “Hardly!” His eyes shifted from my stunned husband and settled on me. In a strong clear voice he stated matter-of-factly: “The Spirit of God has bestowed upon you a new gift. Forthwith you will become a blogger.”
He eyed me quizzically, waiting for my response. When none was forthcoming, he said firmly, “You are to use your new gift to expose ravenous wolves that have slipped into the sheep pen under the cover of darkness. These wolves are teaching doctrines of demons…”
I didn’t have to ask what he meant by doctrines of demons. He had to be alluding to Word of Faith…New Apostolic Reformation…Purpose Driven…Emergent…Social Justice…New Age…New Thought and other false teaching that had made its way into churches and seminaries while our shepherds snoozed. “I’ve tried telling people about false teaching, I said to myself, “but what I say goes in one ear and out the other.”
I heard the angel say: “There are counterfeits who call themselves new apostles and prophets. These men and women are giving Him (he glanced up at the ceiling) a bad name. Expose them as false teachers!” His wings ceased fluttering and he became as still as a stone. “Are you ready to serve the King?
“Are you kidding me?” I exclaimed in disbelief. “First of all, I’m not gifted to write – or at least I wasn’t, until now.” I searched for excuses. “And…and I got a B in English by the skin of my teeth—“
The angel cut me off sharply. “Certainly you do not think this is news to Him (he glanced up at the ceiling).”
True. God knows all things, including my grades in college. Perhaps He wanted to get me out of my comfort zone. Writing a blog would definitely accomplish that. One last try: “But…um… I’m nobody! No one will listen to a word I say.”
“Some will listen,” Archibald assured me. “And others will fall for lies. It is always that way with humans.”
I turned to my husband and said, “Tell him no one will take me seriously.”
My husband came out of his stupor and said in a serious tone, “God uses nobodies all the time. But there’s a catch. You’ve got to be willing.” He looked me straight in the eye. “Are you?”
Am I willing, I wondered? I needed but a moment to ponder his question. Yes, I guess I am, I said to myself. I’m more than willing. Suddenly I felt as if I could go out and slay a dragon. “OK, I’ll do it!” I glanced over at my husband. “The two of us can do it together.”
We high-fived and he said with a grin, “We make a good team.”
I gave Archibald a thumbs up. “We’re in.”
Poof! The angel disappeared, feathers and all.
The next morning I found a large silver feather on the floor where Archibald had appeared to us. He had left his calling card.
In part one I covered New Apostolic Reformation’s rock-star evangelist Todd Bentley and the shame he brought on the Name of our Lord and how “Super Apostles” Bill Johnson and Rick Joyner restored him to ministry despite his obvious character flaws. There were exaggerated healings and dangerous “healing” practices that included assaulting the sick with leg drops, high kicks and head punches which he claimed the Lord told him to do to people who came to him for help. Moreover, Bentley drank excessively, committed adultery and soon thereafter left his wife and children and married the adulteress. There’s a whole lot more to report on the fraud evangelist, but space does not allow. So – why bring him up again? Because he says angels visit him. It’s not uncommon for people who are into “signs and wonders” strange manifestations, and other esoteric experiences to boast of angel visitations. Two angels who supposedly come to Bentley are Emma-O and the Winds of Change. Winds is supposedly “a high-ranking angel over all the ones assigned to healing, breakthrough and revival unto harvest.”
To the best of my knowledge Todd Bentley has never met the Angel Archibald. But I have. Or have I?
Do you see the problem? I made up a story and so can you. Anyone with a vivid imagination can make up a story about angel visitations, trips to heaven, and whatnot. But there’s no way to validate all the wild claims people make. Sadly, NAR leaders pitch their stories to gullible sheeple who want desperately to believe that their heroes would never lie to them. This might explain why “Super Apostle” Rick Joyner’s followers hang on his every word as he looks straight into a video camera and testifies that he’s been to heaven. During one of his many visits he claims the Lord handed him the key to eternal joy. Watch the video he made and you’ll see that I’m not making this up. In it Apostle Rick crows that he’s had a number of encounters with Elijah, and he knows many others who’ve had Elijah encounters too! He’s quick to point out that it’s not necromancy (communicating with the dead) because Elijah was taken up to heaven without dying. At 9:20 minutes you’ll learn how he met Enoch.
But this is not about Rick Joyner’s spiritual gift of pulling the wool over the sheep’s eyes. So I’ll move on.
It’s hard to imagine anything more ludicrous than “grave sucking” yet Apostle Bill endorses this macabre practice. Grave sucking aka “mantle grabbing” occurs when the Holy Spirit draws powers from the bones of a deceased person who, while alive, was allegedly Spirit empowered. Since God’s mission for the dead is thwarted when he dies, the Spirit passes on his powers to individuals who visit their graves.
According to Victory Ministries, Apostle Bill led a group to John Lake’s grave where the following ensued:
He was looking for Lake’s anointing to heal the sick by a supernatural power. The people seeking this new paranormal anointing prostrated themselves upon Lake’s grave weeping, worshipping and expecting that Lake’s ministry power would strike them and his spirit would infuse them with a sign and wonders ministry like he had when he was alive. Thus, a new preternatural cult was formed that day that is now referred to as “grave sucking.”
Mr. Johnson testified about this bazaar act of desecration and necromancy (the practice of attempting to communicate with the spirits of the dead in order to predict or influence the future) that he and his group committed on Sid Roth’s radio show, “It’s Supernatural”
Johnson spun a weird mystical/Occult experience tale to Sid Roth about meeting the Late John Lake’s angel in the building where Lake had previously ministered in his healing rooms. He testified that two ladies went to a back room and they met a giant angel there that healed one of the women. They called Johnson and when he came into the room, he claimed there was an angel about 10 feet tall. Sid asked him, did you see the angel? Johnson replied “No, but I knew he was there and the angel said to me, ‘What took you so long, I’ve been here for 80 years!’” (Source)
It should surprise no one that Bill Johnson claims that he had a tête-à-tête with an angel.
What does the Bible say about playing around in the spirit realm?:
Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. (Colossians 2:18-19)
Bethel School Of Sorcery
Apostle Bill runs the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding CA. According to its website:
(BSSM) is committed to the truth that God loves people, gave Himself for them and has given His Church supernatural power to bring individuals and nations into wholeness. The mission of BSSM is to equip and deploy revivalists who passionately pursue world-wide transformation in their God-given spheres of influence. Students are trained to continue in the ministry style of Jesus: to enjoy the presence of God, say what He is saying, and do what He is doing. (emphasis added)
Basically, BSSM trains people to heal the sick and raise the dead. This raises the question: why do these folks not bring dead people back to life in America, Canada and western European countries? Why only in the developing countries? If the dearly departed are coming out of their graves in the developed countries, the media would surely report on it.
The Redding Spotlight describes one man’s experience at Bethel Church (BC):
After a strange experience with an erratic Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry student who baby-sat his children, Bart McCurdy of Cottonwood decided to find out for himself what was going on at Bethel.
McCurdy said he attended a Friday night service at the church, during which he saw people painting on stage, dancing and flailing around on the ground. He found their worship music unconventional when one line of the same song was played for at least 11 minutes, he said.
McCurdy said the repetitive music, dancing, painting and excessive stimuli serve to get people worked up into an emotional frenzy where they’re expecting to see miraculous things.
“They come looking for that feel-good feeling, that high, for supposed miracles, supposed signs and wonders, speaking in tongues, gold dust, diamonds, feathers[floating down from the ceiling]. … It seems like they’re just ready for it,” he said.
Once, as she ran through her house frantically searching for her journals, the baby sitter told McCurdy the anti-Christ was in her house and Jesus was in hell saving people, he said. Shortly after that, she went into a trancelike state and said she felt 20 feet tall before losing consciousness…. The behavior made him believe she was demon-possessed, he said.
McCurdy said he regularly downloads podcasts of Bethel messages and hasn’t heard the Christian gospel message taught at Bethel. …
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph 2:8-9)
See also 1 Cor. 15:1-8
Despite the fact that Apostle Bill teaches a false gospel he’s hugely popular with many professing Christians. His book sales are in the millions. He’s become so popular that a large number of churches around the globe are affiliated with BC. This speaks volumes as to the current state of evangelicalism. Sadly, a growing number of believers have zero discernment, thus they accept every “wind of doctrine.” Translation: Every sort of false teaching that blows their way.
Christians have been warned that charismania, as some call it, represents a danger to millions of people around the globe, especially to LIEs (low information evangelicals) and the unsaved. Because of self-professed apostles and prophets such as C. Peter Wagner, Rick Joyner (mentioned in part one), Bill Johnson and a slew of others, we’ve seen an unbridled abuse of the Holy Spirit. After reading this series, I challenge you to do your own research (links below). Before starting, pray that God will reveal truth to you. What you’ll discover is that WoF/NAR teaching isn’t remotely close to historic orthodox Christianity — and it certainly isn’t the Christianity for which the martyrs shed their blood! Flee from it!
Strange Fire Conference Q&A—Phil Johnson interviews John MacArthur
The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson–By John Lanagan
- Peter Wagner launches WLI Seattle, Sonrise Chapel, Feb. 3, 2008–Around 54:00 minutes into the session, Wagner responds during the Q&A. He tells the audience that when the Holy Spirit stopped revealing things through the written Word, He kept on revealing new things to us through the “Rhema Word.” He claims that the Holy Spirit still speaks to us today by giving us information that you cannot find in the 66 books of the Bible; info that the Bible doesn’t address, but it’s not contradictory.
Why I Must Speak Out Against the NAR and Bethel Church—Tony Miano, host of Cross Encounters radio, discusses, among other things, the music of BC’s music team Jesus Culture (more below). Listen to Tony tell of his Twitter chat with Beni Johnson, Bill’s pastorette wife.
Bill Johnson…scroll down—Apologetics Index
All About Angels—On Solid Rock resources
New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism –On Solid Rock Resources
Bethel Church’s Music & Entertainment:
The Holy Spirit Makes A Movie? I Don’t Think So…—Amy Spreeman
Watch And Weep:
Try this Bethel Redding Snack Pack—My Word Like Fire
Bill Johnson is no stranger to controversy. For one thing, he claims to be an apostle, as in the unique position held by the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. He was given this high honor by C. Peter Wagner who holds many titles himself, including president of Global Harvest Ministries, chancellor of Wagner Leadership Institute, convening apostle of theNew Apostolic Roundtable, and my personal favorite: presiding apostle of International Coalition of Apostles (ICA). So for the purpose of this article I’ll dub him Presiding Apostle Peter or PA Peter for short. What’s important to know about him is that he’s sort of like the pope of the “new apostolic-prophetic movement.”
Following is ICA’s definition of modern day apostle:
An apostle is a Christian leader gifted, taught, commissioned, and sent by God with the authority to establish the foundational government of the church within an assigned sphere of ministry by hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches and by setting things in order accordingly for the growth and maturity of the church.
What role do the so-called apostles play? There are a couple of tasks, says PA Peter. First, apostles are to “set things in order” and “they’re to assure that the body of Christ is operating on the basis of sound, biblical doctrine.”
Sound biblical doctrine my Aunt Fanny!
PA Peter and his self-proclaimed apostles and prophets are out-and-out false teachers! These men and women (yes, there are women apostles) are well aware that accusations of heresy have been leveled against them by a large number of highly regarded orthodox Bible scholars and still they continue the pretense.
In this two part series you’ll discover the many twists and turns the new apostolic-prophetic movement has taken over the years and why those of us who are in an online discernment ministry believe it is a clear and present danger to the Body of Christ, thus we will continue warning the brethren. (Acts 20:31)
Now, keep in mind that the men and women involved in this heretical movement are sincere in their belief that they’re in the same league as the Old Testament prophets and the Lord’s hand-picked disciples who later became the Twelve Apostles. The leaders have convinced their followers that the office of apostleship is not reserved for a select few, as the Bible teaches. Moreover, they’ve led people to believe that Christ is once again choosing apostles and prophets to preside over His Church. Listen to Got Questions’ dire warning:
Those claiming the office of apostle seek authority equal to, or at least rivaling, the authority of the original twelve apostles. There is absolutely no biblical evidence to support such an understanding of the role of apostle today. This would fit with the New Testament’s warning against false apostles (2 Corinthians 11:13).
So – if it’s true that Christ is giving authority to a select few apostles and prophets why, pray tell, would our Lord give it to individuals who possess questionable character? I’ll have more on this in a moment.
Suffice it to say C. Peter Wagner and Bill Johnson believe that the Lord has given them the authority to rule over the Church. So – if it’s also true that the so-called apostles arecalled by Christ to form a government to control the Church and that they will hold Church leaders accountable then who, pray tell, is going to hold them accountable?
Without getting too far afield, since the new apostolic-prophetic movement’s inception it has been referred to in a number of different ways, i.e. Dominionism…Latter Rain…Joel’s Army…Manifest[ed] Sons of God…Kingdom Now…Charismatic Renewal…Positive Confession and a few others. Its current handle, New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), was coined by Presiding Apostle Peter in the 1990s. He “reinvigorated the Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God false prophecies about a great endtime revival accompanied by signs and wonders.” As I said, NAR leaders teach that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance – and they are His chosen ones to bring it to fruition!
Do not be surprised:
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,;and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths 2 Timothy 4:3
In Paul’s final warning to the Church he never suggested that they embrace new movements. On the contrary, he warned that they would not listen to the truth. CommentatorMatthew Poole clarifies:
Having itching ears; for their ears itch, and they must have those that will scratch them. The disease of lust in their souls brings forth an itch in their ears, that they will have a mind to hear only such as will by scratching please them.
Shall they heap to themselves teachers, will be finding out teachers, not according to God’s, but to their own hearts; and there will be plenty of them to be found, they shall heap them up, choosing them without any judgment, regarding nothing but whether they will not be smart upon their lusts. (emphasis in original)
Paul’s message throughout his entire letter was that the church must “follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me” (1:13); “guard the good deposit entrusted to you (1:14); “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” (2:2).
Unity Over Doctrine
Now to Bill Johnson, head pastor of Bethel Church (BC). BC’s leadership holds to the theology of the Word of Faith (WoF) movement. WoF doctrine teaches the occult belief that:
He [God] framed the world with His words. You can’t build without substance. He took words — faith-Filled words were God’s substance. Here, essentially, is what God did. God filled His words with faith. He used His words as containers to hold His faith and contain that spiritual force and transport it out there into the vast darkness by saying ‘Light be!’ That’s the way God transported His faith causing creation and transformation. (Source)
One word: unscriptural!
BC also has its roots in the early1980s movement dubbed by C. Peter Wagner the Third Wave (TW).
Following is an excerpt from Apologetics Index. What they’ve laid out here should help prevent people from getting drawn into TW:
[D]istinctives of the Third Wave movement include — but are not limited to — the following:
- The baptism with the Holy Spirit is identified with conversion. This is unlike other Pentecostal movements, in which the baptism with the Spirit is either a separate and/or a recurring experience.
- the belief that the spiritual gifts are valid for today; that Christians can ask for, receive and learn how to use these spiritual gifts (and become better at using them with practice.
- the belief that the primary use of the spiritual gifts is for ministry in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit – both to bless and heal those inside the church and to minister to those outside the church (“Power Evangelism.”). This ministry includes healing the sick, casting out demons, prophesying, etcetera.
- active promotion of unity — sometimes at any cost (e.g. the Toronto Blessing Movement ‘s acceptance of certain Word-Faith teachers. “Unity over doctrine“
- the belief that people, Christians included, can be possessed (or ‘demonized’ — or ‘oppressed,’ something seen as a lesser form of possession) by evil spirits with or without their consent
- the belief that objects or places can project evil influence and act as conduits for demonic oppression
- the belief that traumatic events, either in our lives or in our ancestral past, can make us particularly vulnerable to demonic influence, possession or oppression
- the belief that some Christians — using appropriate spiritual gifts — can identify and cast out demonic spirits
- a general acceptance of Kingdom Now theology, which has led to the practice of so-called ‘Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare‘ or SLSW — an unbiblical concept in which Christians identify (through ‘spiritual mapping‘) and then target (with SLSW) ‘Territorial Spirits.’ (all links are AI’s) (Source)
WoF and TW leaders are false teachers. (You’ll find the names of these as well as many other false teachers on my website.) Over the years self-proclaimed apostles and prophets have managed to coax undiscerning individuals to involve themselves in some of the strangest physical manifestations imaginable. Those who participate in church services where “signs and wonders” take place like to blame their crude behavior on the Holy Spirit. Now, try to imagine giants of the faith such as John, Peter, James or even Paul “drunk in the spirit,” crawling on all fours barking like a dog, clucking like a chicken, jerking and twitching, rolling on the floor, laughing themselves into a convulsive state. People involved in NAR have done these things in the past and continue them to this day. When I think about it, it really wouldn’t surprise me to witness Apostle Bill on all fours, nose in the air, howling like a wolf. But I digress.
Two Super Apostles Restore A Fraud
During the alleged Lakeland Outpouring aka Lakeland Revival in Florida, a story hit the news that put NAR evangelist Todd Bentley in a bad light. It was revealed that that the rock-star evangelist was in an adulterous relationship with a female intern – and suddenly all hell broke loose. In my column “We have had enough of false prophets” I scrutinized the NAR’s leaders and pointed out that Apostle Bill,
calls those who exposed Todd Bentley as a false prophet “sharks.” He also says:
“I’ll never blame the opponents [sharks] of this outpouring for Todd’s choices [sin]. However, it had a greater effect on the outcome than any of his critics will likely own up to in this lifetime. History proves this.”
Apostle Bill and fellow apostate – oops! — apostle-prophet Rick Joyner decided to involve themselves in Bentley’s “restoration process.” Just so you know, Rick Joyner’s the founder and Executive Director of MorningStar Publications and Ministries and is a big promoter of the “new breed” of apostles and prophets.
Both Bill Johnson and Rick Joyner, who are seasoned apostle-prophets, claim to hold the title “Super-Apostle” and/or “Super-Prophet” which is comparable to holding the high office of cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. Chew on that for a moment. As an aside I should mention that some “Super-Apostles” have been accused of using cultic mind control techniques on those they prey upon.
Listen to Apostle Rick pontificate about how he sees himself:
Even though I have not been able to go to journalism school, or even Bible school, in many ways I would not trade my education for anyone’s. Like Paul, I can say that what I received I did not receive from men.
I mean, really, are we supposed to believe him? And why would we?
Now, back to Bentley. Bringing this man under submission took place following his divorce and after he married the Proverbs 7 woman, who, by the way, wasn’t the only woman he had an extra marital affair with. Apostle Bill was well aware that the fraud-evangelist had had a prior dalliance. Both “Super-Apostles” knew that he was drunk during his Lakeland stage act yet they chose to return him to ministry. But, then, no one has ever accused NAR leaders of doing much of anything by The Book.
Todd Bentley is no more qualified for ministry than is disgraced televangelist/prosperity preacher Jim Bakker, who was incarcerated for fleecing the flock (fraud). After his release from prison, what did Bakker do? Still craving attention, he returned to public ministry.
So – how should churches handle a person in a leadership role when he/she brings shame on the Name of our Lord Jesus? I’ve already addressed this topic in my column entitledDoes the Bible Really Say We’re Not to Judge? In a nutshell the biblical way to handle it is for the church hierarchy to apply an appropriate level of discipline necessary to bring the person to true repentance. Church leaders who have a “moral failing” must publically repent of his/her sin against God. They then must seek spiritual guidance and accountability and move out of the limelight altogether. Once the person’s restored, he/she’s most often encouraged to serve the Lord behind the scenes. Sadly, this hasn’t been the case with Todd Bentley. And the reason for this is that the self-appointed Super Apostles Bill and Rick found it in their hearts—not in the Bible—to reinstate the man to public ministry.
I’ll close part 1 with a plea from a genuine apostle:
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (Romans 16:17-18)
Part 2 coming up!
Strange Fire Conference Q&A—Phil Johnson interviews John MacArthur
The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson–By John Lanagan
- Peter Wagner launches WLI Seattle, Sonrise Chapel, Feb. 3, 2008–Around 54:00 into the session, Wagner responds to a question during the Q&A. He tells the audience that when the Holy Spirit stopped revealing things through the written Word, He kept on revealing new things to us through the “Rhema Word.” He claims that the Holy Spirit still speaks to us today by giving us information that you cannot find in the 66 books of the Bible, info that the Bible doesn’t address, but it’s not contradictory.
Why I Must Speak Out Against the NAR and Bethel Church—Tony Miano, host of Cross Encounters radio, discusses, among other things, the music of BC’s music team Jesus Culture (more below). Listen to Tony tell of his Twitter chat with Beni Johnson, Bill’s pastorette wife.
Bill Johnson…scroll down—Apologetics Index
New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism –On Solid Rock Resources
Bethel Church’s Music & Entertainment:
The Holy Spirit Makes A Movie? I Don’t Think So…—Amy Spreeman
Watch And Weep:
Try this Bethel Redding Snack Pack—My Word Like Fire
Well lookie here. Joyce Meyer, popular women’s conference speaker; health and wealth author; radio & TV teacher (whew!) has been invited to speak at the Onething Conference that will be held this December. The 4 day weekend supposedly draws 25,000 young adults. Visit Onething and you will find that the conference is “a gathering of believers who are setting their hearts to live with passion for Jesus.” Sounds like a conference most Christians would love to attend. What sincere believer wouldn’t want to share his/her passion for Jesus?
Not so fast. The group behind the event is none other than the International House of Prayer (IHOP) an evangelical mission organization that has its home base in Kansas City. IHOP-KC’s founder, Mike Bickle, has ties to the New Apostolic Reformation aka Dominionists; Kingdom Now; Latter Rain; Joel’s Army; Manifest Sons of God – the name has been changed to protect the guilty. Their aim is to transform society into the kingdom of God on earth. How? By controlling various aspects of society.
Before I fill you in on Meyer, you’ll need a bit of background on Bickle. A couple of decades ago he was in a heretical group known as the Kansas City Prophets,
who brought grandiose claims that a “new breed” of super prophets were beginning to arrive on planet earth who would change the world forever. These so-called prophets were a group of men that coalesced around a church known as the Kansas City Fellowship, pastored by Mike Bickle, that attracted a following of other likeminded churches in that region. (H/T Pastor Ken Silva)
So it’s not surprising that this self-professed “prophet” has been under scrutiny for his false teaching. Google his name and you’ll discover that he believes God speaks to him in an audible voice and claims that he’s been to heaven twice.
It’s important to note that last year Reformed pastor; author; conference speaker Francis Chan spoke at Onething where he declared “I love Mike Bickle.” Chan took a lot of heat for agreeing to speak at the conference. When friends and fans urged him to decline the invite, he admitted that he didn’t know much about Mike Bickle and IHOP so,
I kinda went on the Internet and started looking things up.
Whatever he found caused him to fall in love:
I go, man, there’s a lot of great things going on [at IHOP]. And today was the first time I ever met Mike Bickle. And, I love that guy. I do. And Mike knows—we talked about this—you know, there’s people who told me not to hang out with him.
Like, you know, words like “creepy” came up. And yet, I get to know this guy and I’m going, “Man, I love his heart. And I just want to publicly say I love Mike Bickle. (Source)
As you can see, Chan professed his love for the sort of person Jesus referred to as a ravenous wolf. (Mat. 7:15)
What Francis Chan failed to turn up in his investigation is that Mike Bickle has led countless young people astray. He’s a sort of a Pied Piper to those who journey to Kansas City from all over the globe to be a part of something “significant.” Once there, they stay for days, months…even years. You’ll find them in the prayer room praying. Prayer “led from a stage full of musicians and readers chanting repetitive phrasings of faith” goes on ‘round the clock.
The false prophet has filled the young sojourners’ heads with untruths such as “an elite end-time church defeats God’s enemies, and Jesus is ‘held in the heavens’ until it happens.” So they most “go forth and make ready.”
Apologist Matt Slick tells us that the major draw of IHOP is experience:
People often come to me citing their experience and go back again and again to experience “God” and the “Spirit” – [which is] no different than an emotional high. This is analogous to mysticism, which is defined as “the pursuit of deeper or higher subjective religious experience,” and “that spiritual reality is perceived apart from the human intellect and natural senses.”
Slick goes on to say:
One of the highest criticisms would be IHOP’s insidious Gnosticism. Gnosticism is derived from the Greek word gnosis, meaning “knowledge.” The hallmark of Gnosticism is the idea of having “hidden knowledge” of the spiritual realm that is unavailable to others. This knowledge comes via prophecies, visions, and dreams that God specifically gives to a certain privileged group of people – in this case IHOP. In fact, IHOP has their own “prophecy rooms” where one can receive “prophecies,” and they used to have a practice of mailing out recorded tapes, of which I was asked by my friend’s mother to translate! (Source)
One last comment about Francis Chan. The name may not be familiar but he’s without question a popular speaker and author whose books sell like hot cakes. Sadly, when it comes to the questionable goings on at IHOP, Chan has shown an astonishing lack of discernment. It goes without saying that: (1) He must change direction and move away from those who involve themselves with the metaphysical cults. (2) He must spend more time researching the people he associates with.
More On Meyer
For decades Joyce Meyer has been called a false teacher. Why? Because she holds to Word of Faith/prosperity/health and wealth heresy. She mixes error with good practical information for women, which is why she’s so popular. There’s plenty of proof for those who wish to know the truth (see the links at the end), and still many women choose to believe that those who say she’s a false teacher are wrong.
Some of her fans know what’s going on at IHOP-KC, so she’s bound to get blow back both before and after her appearance at Onething. People will wonder: If I know about Mike Bickle and IHOP, how could Joyce not know? They may even conclude that it’s a sign that her ministry is about to align with the modern day “apostles and prophets” movement.
So why in heaven’s name is she hitching herself to a wagon loaded with theological garbage. As I pointed out earlier, “prophet” Mike Bickle is heavily into the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). That group’s theology is a load of garbage that should be hauled to the trash dump and burned.
But before I address the reasons Meyer has chosen to put her name on the marquee with Bickle’s, let’s follow the example set by the Bereans and compare her teaching to what Scripture says.
Truth Or Error, That Is The Question
One of the reasons Joyce Meyer is considered a false teacher is because she has taught that Jesus Christ atoned for our sins in hell:
The following quote is from her 1991 booklet, The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make, she teaches a hallmark doctrine of Faith theology, namely, that Christ had to suffer in hell to atone for our sins and be born again:
“During that time He entered hell, where you and I deserved to go (legally) because of our sin…He paid the price there.…no plan was too extreme…Jesus paid on the cross and in hell….God rose up from His throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless Son of God, “Let Him go.” Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus…He was resurrected from the dead ¾ the first born-again man.” (Source)
What she said here is not the view traditional orthodox Christianity holds to. The Bible says that Jesus atoned for our sins on the cross. Listen to John 19:30:
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Orthodox Christianity teaches that Jesus’ shed blood was sufficient for the atonement of our sins. The moment Jesus uttered the words “It is finished” our sin debt was paid in full.
As to her teaching on prosperity and success, listen to Joshua 1:8:
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
So, does being prosperous mean Christians will be influential and financially secure? According to one commentary:
Many people think that prosperity and success come from having power, influential personal contacts, and a relentless desire to get ahead. But the strategy for gaining prosperity that God taught Joshua goes against such criteria. He said that to succeed Joshua must (1) be strong and courageous because the task ahead would not be easy, (2) obey God’s law, and (3) constantly read and study the Book of the Law – God’s Word. To be successful, follow God’s words to Joshua. You may not succeed by the world’s standards, but you will be a success in God’s eyes – and his opinion lasts forever.
For all you scoffers – it’s an undeniable fact that Joyce Meyer is a prosperity preacher, thus she’s a false teacher, a ravenous wolf.
Lifestyle Of The Rich And Famous
It’s no secret that she has been criticized for many things but first and foremost for her “conspicuously prosperous lifestyle.” The money her ministry rakes in doesn’t bother her fans in the least which is obvious as scores of them purchase her books, tune into her TV/radio shows, and flock to her conferences. They say her message is “uplifting.” For them doctrine isn’t important –hearing a positive message is what counts. And Joyce is all about making her fans feel good. She knows that they prefer a feel-good message over hearing the gospel. I mean, isn’t Christianity all about feeling good? Doesn’t becoming a believer mean we’ll be happy, healthy and wealthy? God loves us, yes He does. And because of His great love for His kids, He’s going to provide us with several homes—Joyce has several homes– and perhaps our own private jet so that we can fly all over the globe like she does.
Joyce Meyer’s prosperity preaching is right out of the Word of Faith (WoF) play book. That a person can create his/her own reality is the fairy tale Christianity she teaches and with no apology. So, it’s not helpful when a prominent Christian leader joins her on her TV show and instead of pointing out errors in her teaching he tells her (and the audience) that she’s a “great Bible teacher.”
Well, nothing could be further from the truth, and Ravi Zacharias, who gave her the compliment, should have known better. He of all people should know that she holds to WoF heresy. The compliment he gave her made it clear that he was oblivious to the fact that he was sitting next to a heretic. So, Ravi did for her what she’s doing for Mike Bickle, lending creditability when none is deserved.
Like Chan, if he would have done his homework before agreeing to the interview, it would have been patently obvious that he was going to be the guest of the Prosperity Priestess. It’s shocking that high-profile celebs such as Francis Chan and Ravi Zacharias don’t know who the wolves in the hen house are. Moreover, how could men of their stature not be aware that the NAR and WoF movements are at best aberrant and at worst cults?
Cults? you say with steam coming out of your ears. Let there be no doubt. These movements are viewed by some as cults for the reason that they’re “false, unorthodox, extremist” sects of Christianity (dictionary.com). In a word: counterfeit.
Now getting back the primary purpose for this article, why would Joyce Meyer agree to speak at a hugely controversial event with a notorious false teacher? Perhaps it’s because the Prosperity Priestess and the Pied Piper hold the same unbiblical theology, thus they’re birds of a feather. So it’s no big deal when they sit on a wire together.
Or perhaps it’s all about prosperity – hers! After hearing Joyce’s “uplifting” message people will flock to the book table to purchase her merchandise.
But that’s speculation. The point I want to drive home is this. More and more professing Christians are uniting with wolves in sheep’s clothing. Likewise, wolves and wolverines are joining forces with wolves from different wolf packs. The pack is growing. It’s getting stronger — and they’re cunning! False teachers now play a major role in the Christian community. As I mentioned above, in order to transform society into the kingdom of God on earth, wolves and wolverines must control things, such as entertainment; government; education; business/economy; media; and family — they’re heavily involved in pro-family organizations.
I’ll close with the words of a wise man, Pastor Ray Stedman:
So in this day of confusion, of uncertainty, which voice will you listen to? The voices of the occult world around us? The false prophets who are telling visions which they claim to be coming from the voice of God? The secular voices which tell us that things are not the way the Bible says they are? Which voice will you listen to? Whom will you follow? What will be the guideline for your actions?
Research Mike Bickle:
Stand Up For The Truth wrote a piece entitled Is IHOP a cult? One intern’s story and shared the story of Arial, a young woman who was an IHOP intern.
Mike Bickle Acknowledges Catholic Contemplative Influence on IHOP-KC—My Word Like Fire
Mike Bickle/IHOP research links–Apostasy Watch
New Apostolic Reformation research links—On Solid Rock Resources
Research Joyce Meyer:
In her own words…listen to Meyer preach the prosperity gospel. Hank Hanegraaff plays the clip and responds.
Joyce Meyer—Let Us Reason Ministries
Word of Faith/Televangelists research links—On Solid Rock Resources
Appearing in part 1 is the phrase “low-information voter” (LIV) which is oft used by a popular radio talk show host. The host suggests that those who make up this population set are individuals who vote for a candidate or important issue having little or in most cases zero knowledge about either. LIVs are highly opinionated even when they have no idea what they’re talking about.
Also included in part 1 was the following quote from D. Edmund Wright. I appreciate the way he expands on the LIV concept:
But forget low-information voters for just a minute; the malignancy that is really destroying this country is low-information people with high-profile power and/or influence. You know, people who would lobby for, comment on, advocate for, or vote on laws like ObamaCare without any understanding of its real-world impact. Such felonies are then carried out by low-information bureaucratic microbes with the power to destroy lives and businesses with impunity, and a political and talking-head class with the access and sway to codify these common malfeasances. Destruction of private property and liberty – and these two concepts are not divisible – takes place in government cubicles every minute of every day across the country. And why not? (Source – emphasis in original)
His thoughts fit nicely with what I’ve come to believe about many leaders in the evangelical community. Specifically, a large number of them are uninformed people with high-profile power and/or influence. The LIVs Wright’s pointing a finger at are liberals. Likewise many of the evangelicals that came to mind for me are liberals but because liberal has a negative connotation they prefer “progressive Christian” or “social justice Christian.” Take your pick. But whichever one you go with has its roots in communism.
So to Christianize the LIV phrase I simply changed “voter” to “evangelical,” thus it became “low-information evangelical” (LIE). I defined the LIE in this way:
Reminiscent of the LIV, the high-profile LIE does not understand the impact that his unorthodox view has on the visible church. When it comes to the Bible, the LIE has opinions on a variety of challenging topics. Even when his opinion is decidedly unbiblical, he presents it as the gospel truth. The LIE’s arguments are often based, not on what God’s Word clearly teaches but instead on esoteric experiences he’s had or what he’s picked up from LIE celebrities.
More on esoteric experiences in a moment.
There’s also a group of evangelicals that fall into the category of undistinguished LIE (ordinary folk). The term I bestowed on them is u-LIE. This group is also uninformed on many things (both Christian and otherwise). They are often biblically illiterate. In part 1 I made this observation:
Sadly, some undistinguished low information evangelicals (u-LIEs) assume that popular pastors, teachers and best-selling authors would never steer them wrong. But nothing could be further from the truth!
Last but not least, I coined the phrase LIE-celebs. These individuals are prominent Christian leaders who are uninformed people with high-profile power and/or influence. Many of them are false teachers who do not speak for God.
LIE-celebs And Their Vain Hopes
God tells us how we are to handle false teachers:
Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:16).
We are to pay these folks no mind.
One example of a LIE-celeb is popular women’s Bible teacher Beth Moore. In part 1 I reported on Moore’s claim that she receives personal direct revelation from Almighty God. In other words, God tells her things. According to her, He calls her “baby” and “honey.” I’ll have more to share on this modern day prophetess in a moment.
LIE-celeb Joyce Meyer also claims that she receives extra biblical revelation or “revelation knowledge” from the Almighty. Both Moore and Meyer’s respective claims clearlydeny the sufficiency of Scripture. Equally troubling is that Joyce holds to heretical Word of Faith (WoF) theology. So naturally her students are swallowing the poisonous prosperity health and wealth gospel that does not save anyone. Following is an erroneous assertion made by her:
The Bible can’t even find any way to explain this. Not really. That is why you have got to get it by revelation. There are no words to explain what I am telling you. I have got to just trust God that he is putting it into your spirit like he put it into mine. (Source)
Why do I say this is erroneous? Because it’s not taught in the Bible. She made it up. How do I know this? I searched the scriptures. (Acts 17:10-15) Nowhere does Scripture teach that God’s people are given special “revelation knowledge.”
“The fact that contemporary evangelicals seek ‘fresh’ revelations from God,” says Larry DeBruyn, “indicates that they no longer consider Holy Scripture to be sufficient and authoritative in matters of faith (2 Timothy 3:16). This seeking is Gnostic and mystic. Harvie Conn …a former missionary in Korea, noted that the ‘central feature of mystical religion is its ‘belief in special revelation outside the Bible.’ Yet if the Bible is no longer considered sufficient, the coming of “new revelations” raises the following conundrum. I repeat it.
“If added revelations repeat what’s in the Bible, they are unnecessary. If new revelations contradict the Word of God, they are heresy. And if they supplement God’s Word, then the new revelations imply Scripture’s insufficiency, and about this Proverbs warns: ‘Add thou not unto his [God’s] words, lest he [God] reprove thee, and thou be found a liar’ (Proverbs 30:6, KJV).” (Source – emphasis added.)
Gnosticism is esoteric mysticism – a desire to “know the unknowable.” One of the obstacles the early church faced was Gnosticism. The Gnostics believed that the masses are not in possession of spiritual knowledge, and only the truly “enlightened” can experience God. The Apostles condemned Gnosticism as a heresy.
But Gnosticism is not the issue; the issue at hand is this: how can one know for certain if Meyer’s so-called revelation came from God? “Is she on par with the apostles who received revelation knowledge from God himself?” asks apologist Matt Slick. He continues:
Or how about the Old Testament prophets? Does she, like them, also receive revelation knowledge from God? If so, how would we know if it were true or not? The answer is simple: we test what she says against Scripture, and it is obvious that she is getting a lot of things from somewhere else that contradict the word of God. (Source)
More On Moore
In part I brought the reader up to speed on Beth Moore’s slide into mysticism and also gave a heads up on her unbiblical teaching and had planned to leave it at that. But then the news came that she made an appearance on Joyce Meyer’s TV show. This is the sort of news Beth fans should be made aware of, so I decided to include a bit about it here. Just before her appearance Beth tweeted:
I have the great privilege of sitting down w/@ Joyce Meyer in her studio today to talk about unity. Pray for Jesus to be so present & pleased.
The unity Meyer and Moore espouse is man centered, not Christ centered.
Scoffers And Bullies And Meanies, Oh My!
So – Beth Moore sitting down for a chat with a WoF heretic is a problem in and of itself. But the reason she gave for appearing on the show was to talk about unity. The obvious question is why would a “solid Bible teacher,” as she is called, choose to unite with a woman who preaches a false gospel? Although their tête-à-tête is troubling it’s not the only concern people have with her. As I pointed out in part 1, she’s been under fire for, among other things, engaging in Christian mysticism, likewise for her acceptance of “charismania” which is odd for someone who’s an SBC Lifeway Bible teacher. Another problem arose when she appeared on Life Today with “Protholic” and big time promoter of ecumenism James Robison and proceeded to advise the audience to tune out the “scoffers”:
We’re going to have people that are honestly going to want to debate and argue with us about awakening and downpours … But there will be scoffers and they will be the far bigger threat, the one within our own brothers and sisters, our own family of God — far, far more demoralizing. And yes, it will come from bullies, and yes, it will come from the mean-spirited. (Source)
Beth’s attempt to shut people up who question her teaching should be concerning to Christian women who read her books and participate in Bible studies she has written.
For those of you who are Joyce Meyer fans, it’s imperative that you wake up to the fact that some of this woman’s teaching is outright heresy. Anyone who continues learning from her is choosing to remain under the teaching of what Jesus referred to in Mat. 7:15 as a ravenous wolf. Listen to John’s warning:
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. (2 John 9-11)
Sadly, a growing number of LIE-celebs, likewise u-LIEs, are taking part in the wicked works John spoke of.
We are living in perilous times, brethren. It’s now common place for professing Christians to dabble in mysticism. The result? Many believers boast of having subjective magical mystical experiences such as visions; dreams; impressions; hearing inner voices; experiencing private illumination; and angel visitations. Warning! Christians who engage in esoteric mysticism deny sola Scriptura – the sufficiency of Scripture.
God’s people must come to grips with the fact that historic orthodox Christianity holds to the belief that everything we need to know about our Triune God is contained within the pages of the Bible. (Psalm 119:105)
Stranded In Spiritual Infancy
Following is an observation by apologist and author Bill Muehlenberg from a post entitled Kindergarten Christianity:
We have millions of believers who may have been saved decades ago, but are still acting like spiritual infants. They have not grown much, they have not progressed much in their walk with Christ, and their spiritual condition is rather anaemic [sic] and shallow.
They have not become genuine disciples in other words, and they are still stranded in a spiritual infancy. They can’t even handle the deep truths of God as revealed in Scripture. Indeed, many of them hardly even read their Bibles, barely pray, or engage in in-depth fellowship.
No wonder they are still floundering around as babies. They have not moved beyond the nursery. They are all stuck in day care. They are permanent residents of Christian kindergarten. Sadly this is so very widespread today in our churches.
This brings me back to the low information evangelical. As Muehlenberg pointed out, many Christians prefer milk to solid food. (1 Cor 3:1-3) Consequently they’re biblically illiterate…which is the reason for the colossal lack of discernment among Christians. So it should come as no surprise that the worst sort of unbiblical teaching has reared its ugly head in the visible church, thanks largely to diaper-wearing milk-fed u-LIEs who rarely, if ever, go to the Bible to scrutinize someone’s teaching. (1 John 4:1) These same u-LIEs are the ones who put on a pedestal/promote/pay tribute to and finance the lavish lifestyles of LIE-celebs, some of whom are prosperity preaching/health and wealth televangelists. What will it take to get professing Christians to understand that they’re propping up heretics?
Before I close I must also mention that the liberal media seems to think that all Protestants are evangelicals – and that includes WoF heretics such as Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen,T.D. Jakes and Oprah’s pal New Age/New Thought/Emergent guru Rob Bell. Nowadays evangelical is such a broad term that it has lost its meaning. Even Red-letter ChristiansTony Campolo and Jim Wallis, who have abandoned the biblical gospel for the “social gospel,” call themselves evangelicals.
Campolo, Wallis, Osteen, Bell, et al can say they are monarchs and wear a crown if they so desire. But as I’ve said many times, a mouse in the cookie jar is not a cookie.
Beth Moore recommends ‘Jesus Calling’ book—Apprising Ministries
Contemplative Prayer–On Solid Rock Resources
Cults and Heretical Teaching—On Solid Rock Resources
Emergent/Emerging Church—On Solid Rock Resources
New Age/New Thought Spirituality—On Solid Rock Resources
Occult—On Solid Rock Resources
Word of Faith/Televangelists—On Solid Rock Resources
We are told throughout the New Testament to judge, to test, to discern, to assess, to rebuke, to hold one another to account, to make moral distinctions, and to pronounce judgment when and where it is due. ~ Bill Muehlenberg
The phrase low-information voter (LIV) was made popular in the mid-1990s. Although the LIV is uninformed on the issues, he casts his vote. The LIV is often highly opinionated even when he has no idea what he’s talking about. A popular conservative talk show host has labeled a segment of those who vote for liberals LIVs.
D. Edmund Wright expresses his disdain for the LIV in a rather harsh way:
But forget low-information voters for just a minute; the malignancy that is really destroying this country is low-information people with high-profile power and/or influence. You know, people who would lobby for, comment on, advocate for, or vote on laws like ObamaCare without any understanding of its real-world impact. Such felonies are then carried out by low-information bureaucratic microbes with the power to destroy lives and businesses with impunity, and a political and talking-head class with the access and sway to codify these common malfeasances. Destruction of private property and liberty – and these two concepts are not divisible – takes place in government cubicles every minute of every day across the country. And why not? (Source – emphasis in original)
While reading Wright’s rant against the organized left (and rightly so) it occurred to me that evangelicalism is dealing with the same sort of crisis – low-information people with high-profile power and/or influence. So for the purpose of this piece I’ll refer to them as low-information evangelicals (LIE).
Reminiscent of the LIV, the high-profile LIE does not understand the impact that his unorthodox view has on the visible church. When it comes to the Bible, the LIE has opinions on a variety of challenging topics. Even when his opinion is decidedly unbiblical, he presents it as the gospel truth. The LIE’s arguments are often based, not on what God’s Word clearly teaches but instead on esoteric experiences he’s had or what he’s picked up from LIE celebrities. As a side note, whenever I write a column for the express purpose of exposing a LIE-celeb’s unbiblical teaching and even though I included an abundance of evidence to support the biblical view, the LIE rarely uses logical argumentation to contest the facts and win me over to their way of thinking. Instead he resorts to personal attacks. For example I’m often scolded for being unloving…ungracious…mean spirited…hateful…homophobic…judgmental…and far worse.
Facts are stubborn things. And the fact of the matter is that it’s biblical to report on a high-profile Christian leader whose teaching is unbiblical. Much of the problem lies in the fact that oodles of LIE-celebs are unapologetically liberal in their worldview and their teaching reflects that. (For the record, “progressive Christian” is an oxymoron.)
Several influential Bible teachers started out as good Bible expositors but got off track when they became enamored with Eastern mysticism. Today the beliefs some Christians hold contain a good deal of New Age/New Thought ideas borrowed from Eastern mysticism. Bible teacher, conference speaker and founder of Living Word Ministries Beth Moore is one of those teachers.
Over the years Moore has gained substantial popularity with women, so much so that her resources line the shelves of churches and Christian book sellers everywhere. Because she’s affiliated with the SBC her overt acceptance of “charismania” surprised a lot of people. For instance, at one of her conferences she shared a vision she supposedly received of “the church as Jesus sees it.” Listen to this bombshell:
You know what He [God] told me not too long ago? I told you when I first began this whole concept, He first started teaching it to me about five years ago, and He said these words to me: “Baby, you have not even begun to believe Me. You haven’t even begun!”
You know what He said just a few days ago? “Honey, I just want you to know we’re just beginning.” Oh, glory! That meant I had begun. Hallelujah!
But He was telling me, “When this ends, we ain’t done with this. Honey, this is what we do for the rest of your life.” And He says those words to me over and over again: “Believe Me. Believe Me. And I hope it’s starting to ring in your ears, over and over again, Believe Me.” (Source)
Does that not make your hair stand on end? “He said these words to me…” is the same as saying “Thus saith the Lord!” Any discerning Christian will no doubt find Moore’s alleged chats with God troubling.
Contrary to what Beth Moore believes, when the Lord allegedly speaks to her it couldn’t be His voice she’s hearing. How do I know that? Because the way in which she claims the Almighty communicates with her is unbiblical. How does God speak to us today? We are told in Hebrews that He speaks to us by His Son through His Spirit in His Word.
In 1 Thes 5:21 Paul commands us to “test everything; hold fast what is good.” With this in mind, I challenge Beth’s fans to test her teaching by the Word of God. Those who are open to the truth will discover that this Bible teacher is feeding her followers rotten fruit!
Erin Benziger has been warning of Beth Moore’s shift into mysticism for quite some time. Erin points out that:
Beth Moore has demonstrated time and again that she cannot properly handle the biblical text. And yet, she is a mentor and teacher to many women who look to her leadership and knowledge as a foundation for their own spiritual walk.
In recent months, Moore participated as a speaker at the Unwrap the Bible conference, which was held at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church. The event was hosted byWomen of Faith ministries, and also featured such dangerous teachers as Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine, Lisa Harper, Sheila Walsh and of course, Victoria Osteen. Nearly 11,000 women were in attendance at this event. 11,000. That is a tremendous number of women who were exposed to deceptive and erroneous Bible teaching. These are women in your Bible study and in your church. These are women who will now take the principles they learned and will begin to influence other women and girls within their church. This ought to be of no small concern to those who love and revere the Word of God. (Source)
Before I move on, I should mention that I don’t enjoy tearing down the powerful magnetic personalities professing Christians revere. My purpose for taking aim at Beth Moore is to get undistinguished LIEs (ordinary folk) up to speed on her unbiblical teaching. Sadly, some undistinguished low information evangelicals (u-LIEs) assume that popular pastors, teachers and best-selling authors would never steer them wrong. But nothing could be further from the truth!
The Undistinguished LIE
The u-LIE learns Scripture in a variety of ways: (1) Best-selling “Christian” books; (2) Blog posts; (3) Religious TV programs; (4) “Christian” radio/podcasts; (5) Trendy market-driven/seeker sensitive churches; (6) Family and friends (some of whom are nominal Christians at best and Bible illiterates at worst.)
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the u-LIE who utilizes the above resources won’t learn anything worthwhile. He will! In fact it’s a good idea to gain knowledge from mainstream Bible scholars/theologians/apologists/bloggers and ministers of the gospel; likewise from TV, radio/podcasts of solid Bible expositors. But we must see to it that those from whom we learn, including LIE-celebs, continually guard against error. As I said above, when someone’s theology lands outside of the pale of orthodoxy it’s appropriate to challenge what’s being taught and to (gasp!) “name names.” How else will we know who to be wary of?
Christians must never lose sight of the fact that false teachers are deceptive and evil. And by the way, anyone who’s exposed as a wolf or wolverine must swallow their pride and repent of their sin against God. The objective is restoration.
What has resulted from all the abysmal teaching in the Church? U-LIEs have accepted liberal/progressive theology. Likewise, they’re up to their eyeballs in aberrant/heretical movements such as liberal/progressive/social justice; emergent/emerging; word-faith/health & wealth/name-it-claim-it; New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism/Latter Rain. Moreover they’ve become easy prey for the Kingdom of the Cults. How does one avoid becoming ensnared by the wiles of the devil? By becoming a Berean! (Acts 17:10-15)
Thanks largely to Christian mystics such as recently deceased ordained Baptist Minister Dallas Willard and Quaker Richard Foster, many u-LIEs have been introduced to spiritual formation. Sounds biblical, but I assure you it’s not. In a nut shell, spiritual formation,
encourage[s] believers to incorporate a wide variety of extrabiblical spiritual practices, such as contemplative prayer, silence, meditation, creative expression, and yoga. In fact, some of the most popular methods of spiritual formation have been lifted from Catholicism, new age mysticism, or other religions and rebranded with biblical-sounding terminology. (Source)
Ken Silva cautions that involving oneself in mysticism can lead to a “denial of the Reformation and the acceptance of apostate Roman Catholicism as a viable form of Christianity.”
Both Willard and Foster, as well as Rick Warren, John Ortberg, Ruth Haley Barton and Tony Campolo have encouraged believers to read the writings of Roman Catholic Trappist Monks such as Thomas Merton, Basil Pennington, William Menninger and Thomas Keating to name a few. From individuals like these, Eastern pagan practices have been introduced into mainline Protestant churches, likewise independent, nondenominational, charismatic and Pentecostal churches.
Because of books penned by Catholic monks, an increasing number of u-LIEs embrace the idea that God speaks to His people in much the same way that He spoke to the patriarchs and apostles. And this is the primary reason Christians boast that they hear directly from God.
LIE-celebs and u-Lies who are exposed to mysticism will say things such as: “I had a word from the Lord” or “God said (this or that)…” Or “God told me to do (this or that)…” And “I have received revelation knowledge.” Anyone who makes these claims is saying that God speaks directly to them! The danger in thinking this way is that when God doesn’t “speak” to a professed Christian, she worries that He’s silent because she doesn’t have enough faith, or she has a “hidden sin” in her life because if she didn’t, God would speak to her; or perhaps the Lord’s silent because He’s angry over an act of disobedience…and the list goes on.
The Silence Is Not Golden
The aforementioned monks, or Desert Fathers, allege that by engaging in a prayer method called The Silence they’ve been able to achieve a profound experience with God. “We enter the silence to consciously experience our oneness within the one Mind, God.” The idea of experiencing oneness within the mind of God comes, not from the Bible, but from Eastern mysticism. It makes no sense for God’s people to borrow from a corrupt religious system that God despises. Listen to Isaiah 2:6:
For you [God] have rejected your people, the house of Jacob, because they are full of things from the east and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines, and they strike hands with foreigners.
The Desert Fathers have so little discernment that they not only participate in recycled paganism, they encourage others to go that route! Willard and Foster and other LIE-celebs know full well that they’re “striking hands with foreigners” and they do it anyway!
Being that the Lord condemns paganism, His people are to have nothing to do with it. No dabbling! Steer clear of anything to do with mantra meditation. Methods such ascontemplative prayer…centering prayer…breath prayer…are forbidden! Even though this will ruffle some feathers, my advice is to steer clear of “Christian” yoga. “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Eph 5:11)
Part 2, coming up!
Entering “The Silence” (Posting this with a warning)
Contemplative Prayer–On Solid Rock Resources
Cults and Heretical Teaching—On Solid Rock Resources
Occult—On Solid Rock Resources
While staying here in Damascus, I have heard the same thing said again and again from a whole array of sources, including foreign journalists, Syrian citizens and even Christian nuns. “This war on Syria is being fought by Al Qaeda operatives, fanatic Islamist jihadis, foreign fighters, terrorists and mercenaries for hire. And they are being financed by American money and given American weapons.” Yikes!
What this means to me personally is that my very own head (which I have actually become quite attached to) could possibly be blown off at any minute by fanatics and/or weapons bought and paid for by my very own tax dollars. Now that is a really confusing thought.
“War by proxy” is becoming a more and more frequently-used phrase here in Syria. The American military-industrial complex is now out-sourcing their war.
But, hey, that’s better than having American soldiers over here fighting and dying for Wall Street and War Street like they did in Iraq. Our soldiers’ jobs are being shipped overseas? That’s one example of outsourcing that is just fine by me.
Except, in the words of one local college professor I interviewed the other day, “We Syrians are fighting dirty enemies. This is a dirty war. The jihadists attack hospitals, power plants and schools. But the Syrian people are fighting back.” The professor also mentioned the discovery of vast new oil fields off the Syrian coast. And he found it ironic that the very first place that the jihadis, inquisionists, Taliban wannabes and Al Qaeda death squads attacked was in this oil-rich region. The original peaceful protests by Syrians themselves — before the Taliban wannabes arrived in force from overseas and turned Syria into a slaughterhouse — took place in Daraa, not in the oil fields. Hmmm.
“I also find it ironic that Americans are citing democracy as their primary reason for attacking Syria — while their biggest ally in this region is Saudi Arabia, a known dictatorship.” Not to mention the doubts that everyone has about American elections. Take Diebold for instance. And Florida and Ohio and that weird Supreme Court ruling that forced GWB down our throats. And voter ID cards and 92-year-old women turned away from the polls. But, hey, America is famous for exporting hypocrisy. Get over it, prof.
In Sweida, I talked with a young woman who spoke English and she said, “Living in Syria is like living in one of those Hollywood horror movies.” Slasher flicks. “These terrorists come here and they bomb our hospitals and schools, kill and rape women and children and even eat our flesh like cannibals. We Syrians just want this horror movie to stop.” And she was proud of Bashar Assad for standing up to these wannabe Freddy Kruegers. And most of the Syrians I have talked with feel the same way. “And you would too — if it happened to you.”
And it did happen to me too — sort of. I can hear the shelling outside Damascus going on night and day. Nerve-racking. I almost felt like a heroic citizen of London during the Blitz.
Syria’s president, Bashar Assad, has been playing the Great Game of political chess in this region like he is a grand master — and perhaps that’s why the American military-industrial complex hates him so much. But Syrians love him. They just do. It’s a Syrian thing. Remember what Maya Angelou said in “I know Why the Caged Bird Sings”? How she was being raped as a child and prayed for the Green Lantern to save her? Well President Assad, like it or not, is Syria’s Green Lantern.
Assad might have been a bit to enthusiastic in the past about suppressing dissidence. But please be aware that the inquisionist crazies and Al Qaeda freaks that have tried to invade Syria are so very much worse. Syrians weren’t totally behind Assad before the invasion — but they certainly are now, thanks to America’s military-industrial complex. Eisenhower warned us about the complex. He shoulda warned the Syrians too.
The only thing that I can truly fault Assad on presently are all those all-pervasive giant posters of him that you see everywhere — on buildings, in shops, on cars and buses, on T-shirts and even in elevators. Everywhere. He should stop doing that. He’s not just some Ken doll or even the next Brad Pitt. He’s a political genius who is trying save Syria from the bad guys. He should have understood by now that he has found a place in the hearts of the Syrians and just leave it at that.
PS: Observing the elections was fun. It was like attending a country-wide block party. Or, as Mother Agnes-Mariam said to me in an interview at the Dama Rose Hotel, “It would be impossible to coerce that many Syrians to vote out of fear. People actually went out from rebel-held territory to vote. Even the rebels voted.” So. Who are you going to believe about the authenticity of the Syrian elections? Mother Agnes-Mariam who said that they were valid — or Wall Street and War Street, who claim they were a fraud?
Are you going to believe the same people who lied to us about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction – or a mother-superior Christian nun?
PPS: In Homs, those nasty American-sponsored jihadists blew up a historic old Christian church — only to find an even older church lay buried under the newer church’s foundations. Built in 59 AD, this older church might actually been visited by the Apostles and Saint Paul himself. And these Taliban wannabes were happily trying to blow this older church up too. But apparently they got distracted by trying to break up the bones of some nearby Christian saints’ relics — and the old church was saved!
PPPS: I never did get to meet President Assad. “Apparently he has to keep his eye out for being assassinated by drones,” one journalist explained to me as to why Assad hadn’t come to the Dama Rose hotel. But still…I could have worn my cool “Berkeley High Water Polo Team” T-shirt that I had swiped from my daughter Ashley. I’m sure Assad would have been quite impressed.
Some professing Christians become infuriated when a “watchblogger” has the chutzpah to report on a false teacher by name, as if naming names is unbiblical. High-profile leaders and bloggers who mention heretics by name are often accused of demonizing or judging them.
For example, when I expose Rick Warren’s latest effort to unite with globalists, Catholics, Muslims, New Age/New Thought occultists, and when I examine his health plan and his penchant fortwisting Scripture (he often uses it as a tool to cover his own ideas with a pretense of divine authority), complaints come pouring in by the truck load. Many of his defenders write to set me straight on what Scripture says about “judging him.” Others scold me for not giving him credit for all the good he has done, as if doing good deeds, meeting felt needs and ignoring doctrine and creeds is biblical.
Invariably someone will cite Matthew 18:15-17 :
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
And then they’ll ask if I’ve gone privately to Rick Warren to correct him. My response is “Of course not!” Why? For the reason that Christian celebrities like Rick Warren are generally not accessible. Many are, in fact, akin to Hollywood celebs. No doubt some of them rationalize that their popularity affords them certain privileges, one of which is to choose not to have a dialogue with those of us who write anything negative about them.
Yet the Bible says that those who are in sin (false teaching is sin) must be admonished. In 3 John 1:9 the Apostle John calls out Diotrephes and promises to publicly correct him upon his return. In Galatians 2:11-14 Paul stands up to the highly esteemed Apostle Peter! He even got in Peter’s face for fearing false teachers. What resulted from Peter’s “fear of man”?:
And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, ‘If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?’ (bold added)
In context the Matthew 18 passages (above) addresses the ways in which the leadership must go about disciplining a brother or sister in their church who has fallen into sin. It also provides the proper steps to take before excommunicating someone who refuses to repent. First, we are to go to him in private and if he refuses to repent we are to go a second time taking with us two or more witnesses. If he still refuses to repent, the pastor must go before the church and proclaim his sin. Ouch!
It’s essential that elders are involved in the process.
Likewise, the passages in Matthew 18 don’t apply to doctrinal issues nor do they apply to Christians who have put their work before the world. A person’s willingness to do so makes them fair game for anyone who wishes to scrutinize and even criticize his or her work. Consequently, Christians who can’t stand the heat should get out of the kitchen.
But I’m drifting from my point.
When believers make a judgment, we’re not to judge self-righteously. Moreover, we’re not to judge a person’s heart or motives. Those who do are sinning.
Because I name names I’m often accused of being judgmental. All I can do is respond with Scripture:
The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. ‘For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.(1 Corinthians 2:15-16)
What? You mean the true believer has the mind of Christ? Yes! This is a difficult concept to grasp to be sure, so I’ll point you to Matthew Henry’s commentary:
The apostles were not guided by worldly principles. They had the revelation of these things from the Spirit of God, and the saving impression of them from the same Spirit. These things they declared in plain, simple language, taught by the Holy Spirit, totally different from the affected oratory or enticing words of man’s wisdom. The natural man, the wise man of the world, receives not the things of the Spirit of God. The pride of carnal reasoning is really as much opposed to spirituality, as the basest sensuality. The sanctified mind discerns the real beauties of holiness, but the power of discerning and judging about common and natural things is not lost. But the carnal man is a stranger to the principles, and pleasures, and actings of the Divine life. The spiritual man only, is the person to whom God gives the knowledge of his will. … And the apostles were enabled by his Spirit to make known his mind. In the Holy Scriptures, the mind of Christ, and the mind of God in Christ, are fully made known to us. It is the great privilege of Christians, that they have the mind of Christ revealed to them by his Spirit. They experience his sanctifying power in their hearts, and bring forth good fruits in their lives. (bold added — Source)
In short, it is the spiritual man (regenerate) who possesses the mind of Christ and has received the knowledge of His will which is laid out for us in Scripture. Therefore, the believer who is truly walking with the Lord— in His will–has the authority to judge words and actions — especially when the teaching is unbiblical.
How do we know when someone’s teaching is unbiblical? That’s easy! Test his teaching against the Word of God and if it doesn’t line up with what’s in the Bible, then what’s being taught is not from God! And if what’s being taught is not from God it’s from another source – the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places!
Bible teacher and expositor John MacArthur cautions:
It should be noted that [Matthew 7:1-5] has erroneously been used to suggest that believers should never evaluate or criticize anyone for anything. Our day hates absolutes, especially theological and moral absolutes, and such simplistic interpretation provides a convenient escape from confrontation. Members of modern society, including many professing Christians, tend to resist dogmatism and strong convictions about right and wrong. Many people prefer to speak of all-inclusive love, compromise, ecumenism, and unity. To the modern religious person those are the only “doctrines” worth defending, and they are the doctrines to which every conflicting doctrine must be sacrificed. (Source)
In my experience, many professing Christians stubbornly stick to their position that those who expose the unbiblical teaching of Christian celebs are unfairly judging them so they play theMatthew 7:1-5 card: “Judge not, that you be not judged” followed by a resounding rebuke from verse 5: “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye?”
Christians who fail to grasp the notion that those who are Spirit-filled have the mind of Christ is mind boggling. Only believers can make this claim — no one else can. And that includes Miss Spirituality herself, Oprah Winfrey! Why? Since Oprah is unregenerate she cannot possible understand spiritual truth because her heart is darkened!
God’s ways and His Word make little sense to the unsaved. Listen to what Paul says:
The natural person [unregenerate] does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)
There is no other place we can learn about the things of the Spirit of God except in the Bible. Moreover, the Bible’s the final authority in all matters of faith. In 2 Timothy 3:16 we’re told that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” And 2 Peter 1:21 says “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Although every page of Scripture is God-breathed, a growing number of Christians choose to reject hard to understand Bible stories and doctrines. Two examples that come to mind are the Creation story in Genesis chapters 1 & 2 and our Lord’s teaching that hell is a place of fire, demons and everlasting torment. Some readers will be surprised to learn that Christ preached more on hell than all the other persons in the Bible put together!
It’s unbelievable how many professing Christians don’t study their bibles. They may attend church regularly but because they’re biblically illiterate they have no clue if the pastor’s teaching God’s truth or outright heresy. In many cases they wouldn’t know biblical truth if it walked up and bit them on the nose!
I regularly hear from Christians whose heart’s desire is to attend a healthy well-balanced church where they can be confident that they’re receiving good solid biblical teaching. They’ve searched high and low to find a gospel teaching church near their home but there are none. And they’re discouraged. The sad fact is that only a handful of ministers still preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ. My advice is always the same: “Don’t give up searching!” But this is a subject for a whole other article so I’ll move on.
As if we didn’t have enough to deal with in the visible Church, a large number of ministers and so-called Bible teachers in churches and on the airwaves are selling a false gospel to consumers. Front and center is the word-faith/name-it-and-claim-it/prosperity charlatans such as Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Paula White, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar and Joyce Meyer, to name a few.
Be on the alert for the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) a heretical movement that holds to the view that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance such as the prophets and apostles. “Super Apostle” C. Peter Wagner is the head of the NAR and there’s a swarm of so-called apostles and prophets worldwide. The wolves and wolverines in this movement believe they possess the same gifts as the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles. (Learn more about the NAR by visiting my website.)
Again, we’re not to judge a person’s heart or motives, but we can certainly judge the fruit they produce! Jesus himself said:
Every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:17-20)
Believers who read and study their bibles are far less likely to blindly follow false teachers. But it’s not out of the realm of possibility for mature believers who cease being Bereans to have the wool pulled over their eyes. For this very reason John warned:
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1).
In “The attack on biblical creation in UK schools continues,” Phil Robinson reports that in the dechristianized U.K. unrelenting attacks against special creation (Genesis account) display a level of aggressive intolerance that is hard to stomach, coming as they do from self-proclaimed scientifically-enlightened ‘voices of reason.’ Some schools have already banned the teaching of special creation in favor of evolutionary science. (creation.com, Mar. 9, 2014)
Other shrill ‘voices of reason’ go so far as to connect special creation to mental illness and child abuse. During a radio interview in Australia famous physicist and atheist propagandist Lawrence Krauss said that while in the United States recently, he stated that “teaching creationism is child abuse and I think it is.” (Prayer News, a publication of Creation Ministries, Apr. 2014)
Throughout the West and here in America a slash-and-burn operation conducted against the Genesis account, particularly its’ literal and historical elements, is justified by the false idea that evolution is science, thus intolerance of special creation is often presented as a ‘science versus religion’ or ‘faith versus reason’ issue. So successful has this war of attrition been that younger generations of Westerners and Americans have been disconnected from both Western history and its’ founding Christian-based worldview, thus like seedlings recently popped up from the soil are unconcerned that special creation, where the ultimate source of life, being and unalienable rights are found, has nearly been displaced by anti-human pagan conceptions positing billions of years of evolutionary transformism from lower kinds of things to higher and higher kinds of things— even non-human kinds of things:
“For us, the best way to create new (‘artificial’) life forms and intelligence is to allow them to emerge through evolution, as nature does, only in much shorter timeframes and with much greater efficiency and variety.”
“For conscious evolution to be successful, we need to observe and understand the actual workings of nature, in all its dynamism, to the point of profound reverence, or ‘worship.’ This is what I call extreme nature-worshipping… From the perspective of extreme nature-worshipping, the real significance of Darwin’s evolutionary theory is not that humans descended from lower species, but that we can continue to evolve.”(Cosmic Beings: Transhumanist Deism in Ted Chu’s Cosmic View, Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technology, Giulio Prisco)
The vicious name-calling, seething resentment toward and censorship of the six day creation account and of all who profess and teach it should raise the eyebrows of any rational thinking person. If evolution really is a fact of science then why the irrational name-calling, ridicule, scorn, shunning, resentment, intolerance and demonization?
The answer is that the zealous worshipper of evolution is the Spirit of our age that emerged out of the Renaissance whose answer to the Lord Jesus Christ is the Cross (crucify Him) and whose fulfillment will be the Wicked One. (2 Thess. 2:1-8)
From the Renaissance to our own time the Spirit has been transgressing, blaspheming, and departing that it need not obey His voice. Like a dog returning to its own vomit, the Spirit has returned to its first love: the cult of demons in the Godless universe of matter, psychic energy, and animated forces where time is changed, past history rendered meaningless, and the liberated Spirit imbibes the cup of wrath, an intoxicating mixture of Babylonian Mysteries, incantations, spiritism, Gnosticism, sorcery, witchcraft, Hermetic magic, Kabbalah, reincarnation, astrology, and other devilish occult traditions.
The Book of Revelation pinpoints Babylon as the post-flood center of an occult pagan Mystery religion based on advaitic monism, science of magic transformism, exalted priesthood, gnosis, secret initiations, psychic-powers, familiar spirits, androgyny, sexual perversions, and other evils.
Babylon embraced the Great Lie. Its inhabitants claimed the title, “I AM.” The root source of this evil religion and its occult power was the Great Dragon himself….Lucifer:
“…. the Great Lie (is) the foundation stone of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, the Kabala, the Greek Hermetic, Eleusinian and Gnostic beliefs, Neo-Platonism, all the occult creeds from Theosophy and the Masonic orders to the Rosicrucian’s (and) the New Age movement. The Great Lie is…the belief that man is God, that his true identity is the immortal self…that as God, he will never die (and) Sin and depravity are…illusions since this inner divinity is at man’s core.” (The Great Lie, Tal Brooke, SCP Journal, Vol. 29:2-29:3, 2005)
Though the Spirit of our age claims the title “I AM” it nevertheless follows after and falls down before other fascinating men: theoreticians of evolutionary science, nature philosophy and evolutionary pagan theology. These charismatic Pied Pipers are possessed of surpassing powers of persuasion and inflexible determination of will to which the Spirit assigns more honor than to anything else.
The Spirit has usurped the throne of the Word Incarnate (John 1:1) because He is not good, not just or benevolent but a devil, an evil Tyrant Who, with His infliction of suffering in this life and eternal punishment in the next must be deposed. (Psalm 2:2-3)
Blaming our Lord for their own sins the proud, self-righteous Spirit of rebellion, hypocrisy and negation says to Him, “…you are not my father.” My father is the god of forces, therefore:
“I am I, I come out of myself, and in choice and action I make myself.” (Daniel Bell, quoted by Herbert Schlossberg in “Idols for Destruction,” p. 43)
In the final analysis, the Spirit of our age is the “striving human will” seeking desperately to launch itself,
“…into minor godhood in an evolving cosmos through the mechanisms of directed spiritual evolution, spiritualized science and spirit contact.” The ‘new’ spirituality now presents itself as the “rightful replacement for the Revealed Word (and) proclaims its spiritual liberation from the worldview that informs Christianity and its freedom from (the) personal and wholly other God. But this new way of self-salvation (is) little more than the refurbishing of an ancient spiritual mistake.” (The Making of the New Spirituality: the Eclipse of the Western Religious Tradition, James A. Herrick, p. 279)
“As it was in the days of Noah…”
The ominous signs of this age are obvious, said the English theologian G.H. Pember (1837-1910) in his book, “The Antichrist Babylon and the Coming Kingdom.” Just as it was during the pre-flood generations, open intercourse with demons (spiritism) is now common throughout Christendom and even in Russia. In France it is the national pastime. The apostles of the powers of darkness are everywhere proclaiming their scientific and evolutionary theories demonstrating that the world created itself and had no need of a Creator (p. 60) while the miseries which have resulted from sin,
“….are blasphemously charged upon the Almighty, Who so loved the world as to give His son for it (but is now) impiously forbidden to curb and discipline the rebels who owe their existence to the breath of His mouth. And when we see such men as John Stuart Mill (and) John Morley, the late Chief Secretary for Ireland…guiding their fellows to defiant insubordination, we can scarcely wonder that Bradlaugh…said, ‘This world might have been happy, had not the shadow of God fallen upon it.” (pp. 35-36, 1888)
Rise of Occult Evolutionary Science
In the impeccably researched, “The Making of the New Spirituality,” James Herrick observes that the scientific tradition in Renaissance Europe developed around three basic approaches: the organic, the mechanical and the magical. It was magical and/or occult science that provided the greatest impetus for scientific exploration. (p. 45)
C.S. Lewis underscores this point in “The Abolition of Man:”
“You will even find people who write about the sixteenth century as if Magic were a medieval survival and Science the new thing that came in to sweep it away. Those who have studied the period know better. There was very little magic in the Middle Ages: the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are the high noon of magic. The serious magical endeavour and the serious scientific endeavour are twins: one was sickly and died, the other strong and throve. But they were twins. They were born of the same impulse. I allow that some (certainly not all) of the early scientists were actuated by a pure love of knowledge. But if we consider the temper of that age as a whole we can discern the impulse of which I speak.”
In “God and the Knowledge of Reality,” the Catholic philosopher and historian, Thomas Molnar (1921–2010), reveals the ‘temper of that age’ as a spirit of rebellion against the Christian God, and this is why occult science and evolutionary thinking provided the greatest impetus. During the Renaissance, certain Christian theologians, mystics and scholars such as Emanuel Swedenborg had discovered Hermetic magic and occult Jewish Kabbalah texts which they studied and translated resulting in Hermetic Kabbalah. Then like Pico della Mirandola, they argued that occult hermetic science – the divine technology or Magic Way of reaching divine status and powers through ritual procedures (spiritual evolution) is the best proof of the divinity of Christ. In other words said Molnar,
“…..by the time of the Renaissance the esoteric texts of the first centuries A.D. had acquired in scholarly and humanist circles an unparalleled prestige, confronting as equals the texts held sacred by the church. In Pico’s estimation, ‘nulla est scientia que nos magis certificet de divinitate Christ quam magia et Cabala’ (there is no science that would prove for us Christ’s divinity better than magic and the Cabala.)” (pp. 78-79)
Hermetic magic and Jewish Kabbalah are ancient Mystery Religion traditions, as affirmed by G. H. Pember in his classic work, “Earth’s Earliest Ages.” Pember thoroughly examines the role of fallen angels in connection with the magic (occult transformism) they taught to pre-flood generations and compares them to the explosion of spiritism (open intercourse with evil spirits), astrology, the Mysteries and other occult traditions sweeping over Christendom.
Pember writes that the Mysteries are no longer veiled in mystery but boldly presented by the powerful occult brotherhood that emerged out of the Renaissance as the fruit of modern science, especially evolutionary philosophy, which the brotherhood assert was included in the instructions given,
“…to the initiates of the Hermetic, Orphic, Eleusinian, and Cabbalistic mysteries, and were familiar to Chaldean Magi, Egyptian Priests, Hindu Occultists, Essenes, Therapeutae Gnostics, and Theurgic Neo-Platonists.” (Pember, pp.243-244)
Hermeticism is an ancient Egyptian secret magic tradition based on a set of fourteen books known
collectively as the Corpus Hermeticum attributed to a mysterious figure known as Hermes Trismegistus. Implied in Hermeticism is an evolutionary process of magical transformism (spiritual evolution) moving from one kind of lower thing to another kind of higher thing:
“Human beings are themselves the product of a long spiritual evolutionary process that moves from ‘creeping things’ to fish, mammals, birds and then people. Humans can—through occult knowledge and extraordinary ability—continue this evolutionary process and become daemons, then gods, and finally planets or stars.” (The Making of the New Spirituality: The Eclipse of the Western Religious Tradition, James A. Herrick, p. 40)
With respect to Hermes identity, researchers of antiquity are divided. Some believe Hermes was a mythical figure. Others argue he was Ham or his son Cush. The historian Samuel Shuckford argues that Hermes was Pathrusim, king of Thebais, the son of Mizraim, the son of Ham. His Egyptian name was Tyoth or Thoth. (The Sacred and Profane History of the World Connected, 1808)
In any case, it was Thoth-Hermes who instructed his brothers in the arts and science magic of alchemy or transmutation of a lower kind of thing into a higher kind of thing. For example, after a lengthy transformative process out of the eternally existing divine abyss (primordial matter), the self-created Sun-God Ra boasted that he “came into being from primordial matter.” He made all the forms under which he “appeared by means of the god-soul” which he raised up out of Nu, primordial matter. (The Long War Against God, Dr. Henry Morris, p. 243)
“The Kabalah is the key to the occult sciences; and the Gnostics were born of the Kabalists.” (Occult Mason Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, p. 626)
Like its’ Hermetic counterpart, Kabala implies a process of evolutionary transformism:
“…the older Enoch book (gives) a fuller insight into the “Merkabah” and “Bereshit” lore of the ancients than the “Hekalot,” which present but fragments, while the central figure of the Cabala, Meṭaṭron-Enoch, is seen in ch. lxx.-lxxi. in a process of transformation.” (Cabala, Jewish Encyclopedia)
According to Helena Blavatsky, one of the key architects of Luciferian New Age pantheism, Kabalah derived,
“…. from the older secret doctrines concerning divine things and cosmogony, which were combined into a theology after the time of the captivity of the Jews in Babylon. All the works that fall under the esoteric category are termed Kabalistic.” (Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary, p. 168)
The godless cosmogony of Kabala teaches the gradual condensation or evolutionary progression of a primal substance into visible matter. This is a fundamental,
“… doctrine of the Cabala (and) is the ancient Semitic conception of the ‘primal ocean,’ known to the Babylonians as ‘Apsu’ and called by the Gnostics βύθος = (Anz, ‘Die Frage nach dem Ursprung des Gnostizismus,’ p. 98).
The Chaldean occult science and pagan Mystery Religion was embraced by apostate Jews during their captivity in Babylon and delivered to subsequent generations of initiates by word of mouth. According to Blavatsky, these initiates of the Chaldean tradition in the centuries before Christ were known as Tanaim:
“The kabalist is a student of ‘secret science’, one who interprets the hidden meaning of the
Scriptures with the help of the symbolical Kabala… The Tanaim were the first kabalists among the Jews; they appeared at Jerusalem about the beginning of the third century before the Christian era… This secret doctrine is identical with the Persian wisdom, or ‘magic’.” (Ibid. p.167)
The Essenes were also associated with the Kabala. The Jewish Encyclopedia describes the cabalistic practices of the Essenes, which were Judaized elements of Eastern mystical traditions:
“So, too, were the Essenes familiar with the idea of the journey to heaven…and they were also masters of angelology. The practice of magic and incantation, the angelology and demonology, were borrowed from Babylonia, Persia, and Egypt; but these foreign elements were Judaized in the process, and took the form of the mystical adoration of the name of God and of speculations regarding the mysterious power of the Hebrew alphabet …, ‘the name of God creates and destroys worlds’, to become, finally, foundations of the philosophy of the ‘Sefer Yetzirah.” (Cabala, Jewish Encyclopedia)
According to Blavatsky the Essenes were pagan priests of the Greek goddess, Diana of Ephesus, where the Tanaim had established a college for instruction in the Chaldean mystery religion:
“Essenes… had many Buddhistic ideas and practices; and it is noteworthy that the priests of the Great Mother at Ephesus, Diana-Bhavani with many breasts, were also denominated… It was at Ephesus where was the great College of the Essenes and all the lore the Tanaim had brought from the Chaldees… Essenes, believed in reincarnation.” (Theosophical Glossary, pp. 113-14; The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, p. 111n)
Eventually Alexandria, Egypt became the epicenter of cosmological and pagan religious ideas as well as the intellectual meeting point between Greek Mystery Religion/Hermetic magic initiates and nature sages and guardians of Kabala. After the fall of Jerusalem, Alexandria was the center from which occult pagan Jews would disguise their mystery tradition in Christian terminology and attempt to penetrate the fledgling Church with heresy.
One of the primary tactics employed by Cabbalist pagan Jews for this purpose is the same one employed by their modern evolutionary Gnostic pagan counterparts. It involves the reduction of the Genesis account, particularly the first three books, to allegory and myth, a ploy that eliminates the physical Adam from which all people descended and the sin that he transferred to the rest of the human race. This strikes directly at the heart of the Gospel: the need for the ‘last Adam’ to provide for us an escape from the wrath of God against sin incurred by the first Adam. In this way, not only is the work of Christ on the cross rendered superfluous, meaning the heart of the faith is ripped out, but God is made responsible for sin and evil. (1 Peter 3:18-22; 1 John 2:22)
Long ago, the teachings of some of the early Church Fathers regarding the apostasy toward the end of the church age predicted the reappearance of this evil tactic. The fathers categorized it a Gnostic pagan heresy.
In “Heresies 6.10″ Hippolytus writes that the Gnostic pagan Simon Magus feigned faith and allegorized much of Scripture, especially Genesis, to support his evolutionary Hermetic and Gnostic occult pantheist teachings. Church Fathers Ireneaus, Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria reveal that Gnostic cult leader Marcion rejected the Old Testament, taught that the God of the Old Testament and his prophets are evil, made God the author of sin and removed all references that Christ was Creator (John 1:1) (Ireneaus, “Against Heresies 1.26, 5.1,” Tertullian “Against Marcion 2.17,” Clement of Alexandria, “Against Heresies 4.29)
In conclusion, the Babylonian Mystery Religion is the mother of evolutionary Cabala, Gnosticism and all other occult pagan traditions:
“….especially does Gnosticism testify to the antiquity of the Cabala. Of Chaldean origin… Gnosticism was Jewish in character long before it became Christian… Gnosticism—that is, the cabalistic ‘Hokmah’ (wisdom)—seems to have been the first attempt on the part of the Jewish sages to give the empirical mystic lore, with the help of Platonic and Pythagorean or Stoic ideas, a speculative turn; hence the danger of heresy…of which the systems of Philo, an adept in Cabala…show many pitfalls…Jewish gnosticism unquestionably antedates Christianity, for Biblical exegesis had already reached an age of five hundred years by the first century C.E. Judaism had been in close contact with Babylonian-Persian ideas for at least that length of time, and for nearly as long a period with Hellenistic ideas. Magic, also, which,…was a not unimportant part of the doctrines and manifestations of gnosticism, largely occupied Jewish thinkers. There is, in general, no circle of ideas to which elements of gnosticism have been traced, and with which the Jews were not acquainted.” (Cabala, Jewish Encyclopedia)
Building the New Tower of Babylon
In the essay, “The Paganization of Biblical Studies,” Dr. Peter Jones, director of truthxchange and adjunct professor of Westminster Seminary CA., writes that the books of the evolutionary Gnostic pagan Presbyterian heretic Lloyd Geering, Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University, are promoted by the most powerful element of the Spirit of our age—the international occult New Age Luciferian elite-pagans—as programmatic templates for the future utopian pagan community from the point of view of Christian apostasy and socialism undergirded by evolutionary pantheist orthodoxy.
According to Geering, the world’s future culture will be post-Christian, global, religiously pagan and evolutionary. This agenda is remarkably similar to that of Teilhard de Chardins’ disciple, the ex-Roman Catholic Thomas Berry in his book, “The Great Work” which is also being implemented through texts of the UN’s global programs.
The rising New World Order will be post-Christian because evolution proves that human beings, as they evolved out of primordial matter, created language, then symbols, then religious explanations and God Himself. Therefore tomorrow’s culture will be pluralistic, syncretistic, relativistic and poly-gendered because evolution integrates all scientific, cultural, religious, economic and human gender into one worldwide anthill thus when the global society emerges from the evolutionary process,
“…it will require humanity to develop a new consciousness and a new form of spirituality” because “the new story which has become basic to the global world begins with a new word or idea…evolution.” (ibid, Jones)
Like its’ mother, Mystery Babylon, the scientifically-enlightened ‘new’ global religion of evolutionary transformism is occult pantheist advaita monism, which means that as an ancient impersonal god-force is within the cosmos, earth, human beings, rats, weeds, tumble bugs, cancer and everything else then all things are essentially ‘one.’ Since the god-force is within all things it is within the demonically ‘illumined’ consciousness of every spiritually evolved initiate and adept.
This being the case, by means of trance states, brain-altering drugs, transcendental meditation, visualization, channeling, Zen Buddhism, Kundalini yoga, tantra, and other occult ways, the initiate can channel the god-force within thereby becoming a little god who controls matter because he controls mind. The physical world then, is an illusion because reality is inside the divine mind of the god-man.
This way of thinking is captured by Orwell in his book, “Nineteen Eighty-Four” in which negation of the physical world is an integral part of the social and political philosophy of Big Brother and his despotic Party. At one stage in the book, Winston stumbles upon the shocking realization that in the end the Party would announce that two plus two made five because the logic of Big Brothers’ position required it since the existence of external reality was denied by his philosophy. Thus when the Thought Police agent O’Brien tortures Winston for politically incorrect “wrong thought” he states,
“We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull. You will learn by degrees, Winston. There is nothing that we could not do. Invisibility, levitation—anything. I could float off this floor like a soap bubble if I wish to….You must get rid of these nineteenth-century ideas about the laws of Nature. We make the laws of Nature.” (Orwell, “The New Spirituality and its Hallmarks, Alan Morrison, SCP Journal, Vol. 30:4-31:1, 2007, p. 19)
Evolving Toward Catastrophe
In “The Aquarian Conspiracy,” a book that has been called ‘the New Age Bible,’ Marilyn Ferguson (1938-2008) admits that the ‘new age’ evolutionary pantheism and occult technologies being employed throughout America were at one time the private domain of ancient initiates. In fact, as Constance Cumbey reveals in her thoroughly researched book, “The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow,” many New Age historians claim their occult religion and techniques originated in Atlantis and afterward were preserved in the ancient land of Babylon,
“…and surrounding Plains of Shinar and from there disseminated throughout the earth, including Taoist doctrines of China, Mayan-Aztec teachings of Mexico and Central/South America; Great Spirit teachings of the American Indians, Hindu/Buddhist teachings of Asia, etc.” (pp. 250-251)
After the Flood, said Shuckford, while the faithful Noah remained in the East and established the worship of the true God, eighty years after the Flood his rebellious son Ham and his sons together with other family members departed and eventually settled in the plains of Shinar where they resolved to build a tower, a monument to their own pride, vanity, ambition and rebellion against God. (ibid, p.94)
It was Noah’s son Ham, according to ancient Church Father Clement, who ‘preserved’ and revived the Mystery Religion of ‘Atlantis’ and its attendant evils:
“Fallen angels taught men the use of magical incantations that would force demons to obey man. After the flood Ham the son of Noah…discovered this and taught it to his sons. This became ingrained into the Egyptians, Persians, and Babylonians. Ham died shortly after the fall of the Tower of Babel. Nimrod, called Ninus by the Greeks, was handed this knowledge and by it caused men to go away from the worship of God and go into diverse and erratic superstitions and they began to be governed by the signs in the stars and motions of the planets.” (Recognitions of Clement 4.26-29)
In his well-researched book, “Ancient Post-Flood History,” Ken Johnson, Th.D., reports that the sons of Ham persuaded the people to accept that the true God was merely an impersonal creative force within all of nature, making man the highest form of life/god. Through the power of persuasion, Ham and his sons revived magical evolutionary transformism, pantheism and idolatry. (pp. 47-48)
Eventually Ham was deified and worshipped by later pagans as the gods Cronus and Jupiter:
“Ham is represented by many writers as a very wicked, immodest, and profligate creature: Berosus (i) makes him a magician, and to be the same with Zoroast or Zoroastres, and speaks of him as the public corrupter of mankind; and says that he taught men to live as before the flood, to lie with mothers, sisters, daughters, males and brutes, and creatures of all sorts; and that he actually did so himself, and therefore was cast out by his father Janus, or Noah, and got the name of “Chem”, the infamous and immodest…” Upon seeing his father’s nakedness Ham, “told his two brethren without; he went out of the tent after he had pleased himself with the sight… and in a wanton, ludicrous, and scoffing manner, related what he had seen: some of the Jewish Rabbins (k), as Jarchi relates, say that Canaan first saw it, and told his father of it; and some say (l), that he or Ham committed an unnatural crime with him; and others (m), that he castrated him; and hence, it is supposed, came the stories of Jupiter castrating his father Saturn, and Chronus his father Uranus.” Genesis 9:22 Gill’s Exposition
History did not begin after billions of years of evolution when primitive hominids swung down from the trees and discovered how to scratch crude symbols onto rocks. Nor did it begin after the Flood. At least 2,000 years of human existence preceded the Flood, meaning that when Noah and his family entered the ark they carried at least one hundred years of pre-flood memories, traditions, technology, and superior knowledge. Their world view was shaped by the historical Adam and Eve and the generations of their offspring. Thus Noah and his family brought with them not only the knowledge of the personal God, Special Creation, fall of man, the Deluge, sacrifice to God for the propitiation of sin, the arts of weapon-making and warfare, knowledge of letters, symbols, math, architecture, science, cosmetics, and agriculture but knowledge of first-hand encounters with Watchers, their occult teachings, the Nephilim, and primeval pantheism tied to magic, spiritism, herbal abortifacients, human and animal sacrifice, drinking of blood, males marrying males and even beasts, and many other evils.
In affirmation, the eminent researcher of antiquity James Bailey said:
“…human history can now be hesitantly traced back as an unbroken narrative to 4000 B.C….the picture emerging…is one of the Fall of Man in historic terms as well as his rise; it is a picture…more of degradation than of success; it is a picture of monotheism breaking down into polytheism and of the struggle to return to monotheism. The establishment view of the history of religion gradually progressing from animism to polytheism (then) to monotheism is the reverse of facts.” (“The God-Kings and the Titans: The New World Ascendancy in Ancient Times 1973, p. 296)
Four thousand years before Christ were the antediluvian generations and the Watchers in the post-flood world, making the billions of years of evolutionary transformism a fabulous fable. It is neither ‘new’ (Ecclesiastes 1: 9-11) nor scientific except in the sense of pre-flood and post-flood occult science and attendant traditions revised and revamped for our own time, as Geering unhappily discovered.
Dr. Jones writes that Geering was surprised when he found out that the ‘New Spirituality’ has “links with pre-monotheistic…nature religions,” leading Jones to wryly comment that in an odd turn of events,
“….contemporary spiritual’ evolution goes backwards! Biblical theism disturbed evolutionary progress. The clocks have to be put back (for we are in the presence of) a powerful pagan/Gnostic theological agenda, claiming to be spanking new, objective and scientific, but as old as the hills.”
Clocks have to be turned back, all the way back to the days of Noah in the pre-flood world where evolution is closely connected to the devil’s lie that man is a being who though presently limited in time and space is nevertheless capable of achieving a great leap of being and magically evolving into a much more powerful god-like being in the future.
As the scientifically endarkened Gnostic pagan Spirit of our age simultaneously worships on the altar of ‘self’ as it self-righteously peers down its’ long, pointy nose and contemptuously sniffs and sneers at the remnant of backwards, unscientific, anti-evolution faithful, in reality it is the entirely deluded pagan Spirit that is on a collision course with a modern version of the pre-flood world catastrophe—-and we know how badly that ended.
What happens when an institution becomes more important than the cause for which the institution was formed? How long should people who believe in the cause remain loyal to such an institution? And at what point does loyalty to such an institution comprise an abandonment of the cause itself?
I’m afraid the majority of Americans have been institutionalized in a manner not unlike the way prisoners are institutionalized after a long period of confinement. After a point, a prisoner is so conditioned to accepting the circumstances of his confinement that, should he be released from confinement, he truly would be unable to cope. Such seems to be the mentality of a majority of us today.
Christians have been institutionalized. The reason and purpose of the church or Christian organization is no longer relevant. Generations have grown up reciting the same liturgies, regurgitating the same prayers, and rehearsing the same programs until the reason for it all doesn’t even matter. But take the institution away from them, and they would not be able to cope.
The Pharisees despised the Lord Jesus because He challenged the religious institutions that had come to govern people’s lives. I am convinced if Jesus came to America today, He would be just as despised by the vast majority of our religious leaders as He was by the Pharisees.
The Church that Jesus built in the Book of Acts owned no buildings, was indebted to no lenders, took no tax benefits from the civil government, had no denominational hierarchy, and identified itself with no ecclesiastical brand. And the Church was just as persecuted by the religious establishment as Christ was.
One of the reasons one may know that the modern church is so unlike Christ and the apostles is by the persecution that it never experiences. Just as the Pharisees were bosom buddies with the Roman Empire’s governing elite, so are our religious leaders today. Caesar was very generous in sharing the fruit of his tyrannically-extracted bounty with his allies in the Jewish Sanhedrin. And they were happy to return the favor by insisting that the Hebrew people submit to Caesar’s harsh rule over their lives.
The Pharisees also enjoyed a cozy relationship with the moneychangers. The moneychangers were descended from a long line of corrupt banking interests that dated all the way back to the Edomites. We are not talking about your friendly local banker here. These were highly organized, well-positioned money-manipulators. Jesus was so incensed with their manipulation and theft within in the Temple that he used physical violence to remove them from the property. He is recorded as doing this twice in the Gospel narratives. Note that after the second time in which it is recorded that He drove out the moneychangers (with a whip, no less), the Pharisees soon had Jesus crucified. There is no question that one of the reasons Pilate ordered Jesus to be scourged with a whip was in direct retaliation for the manner in which Jesus whipped the moneychangers. Remember, the moneychangers were from a very well-ensconced, elitist national (and even international) organization.
And lest you think all of this is irrelevant to today, the moneychangers are still very much with us. The Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and other members of the international banking elite, are the direct descendants of the moneychangers of Jesus’ day. And if you ever have an opportunity to ask one of them about it, they will proudly admit it.
Yes, the Pharisees institutionalized religion. This accomplished two things: 1) it helped enslave the people, 2) it helped make them rich. The institutionalized church is accomplishing much the same things today.
The establishment church is doing as much to enslave people as any other institution in the world. Our political institutions and educational institutions have nothing on the church for making good little subjects and serfs to the all-powerful state. And if you don’t think that a host of church leaders are not reaping the spoils from assisting our taskmasters, you’re not paying attention.
Many, if not most, of these big-name TV evangelists have as many houses and yachts and Swiss bank accounts as any big-name Hollywood actor or politician. In some cases, more. Most of these big-church pastors are bathing in luxury. Many of them take the kinds of vacations that only CEOs of the biggest corporations or presidents could afford. Do you really think that the IRS rules and regulations governing these non-profit corporations, called churches, really bother these church leaders? Get real!
No wonder all of these “successful” preachers are constantly teaching their congregations to always submit to the government. No wonder they have no interest in abandoning their 501c3 tax-exempt status. They are in the exact same position as were the Pharisees of old. And they are just as effective in helping to enslave people today as were the Pharisees.
The institution of the church–along with its programs, formalities, buildings, rituals, etc.,–has become more important than the purpose for which the church was created. Instead of preaching the liberating message of the Cross, which frees men from the fetters of sin–and that includes sinful political and financial fetters–the church is preaching a message of subjugation and enslavement. It is teaching people to submit to all kinds of oppression, including religious oppression.
Some of the most oppressed and subjugated people in the world are religious people. There are churches and Christian colleges that are every bit as tyrannical as anything coming out of East-bloc or Muslim countries. About the only thing missing is physical torture and execution. Spiritually, however, the oppression is the same.
How could real men who love the liberty they have in Christ allow themselves–and especially their wives–to be told how to dress, how to wear their hair, what kind of music to listen to, what kind of vacations to take, what restaurants they may or may not eat at, what forms of entertainment they may or may not participate in, etc., etc., ad infinitum?
I tell you the truth: many Christians in America are already slaves. To talk to them about freedom is a complete waste of time. The chains of tyranny are already clamped around their hearts. Why should it matter to them if chains are clamped around their necks? When they talk about “defending the faith,” they are talking about defending the institution. They are slaves to the institution. And the same is true for many unchurched Americans.
What is more important: liberty, or the government that is supposed to secure liberty? To a sizeable number of Americans today, it is more important to preserve the institution than the freedoms that the institution was created to protect.
Our Declaration of Independence states, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [the God-given rights of life, liberty, etc.], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Did you see that: “any form of government”? ANY FORM. The form of government is only as good as its ability to secure liberty.
I hear a lot of politicians and media personalities talking about “American exceptionalism.” This is a potentially dangerous mindset. If one means that America is exceptional in our history and the manner in which our Constitution and Bill of Rights were established to protect liberty, well and good. But if it means that America has carte-blanche to do anything it wants–no matter how unconstitutional or tyrannical–because it is “exceptional,” it is a bunch of hooey.
What difference does it make if we have a 50-State Union or not? There is a bill in the California legislature that would divide that State into six states. Five counties in Western Maryland are trying to secede from Baltimore. Ten northern counties in Colorado are trying to secede from Denver. If a State refuses to secure the liberties of the people of that State, they have every right under God to separate. The State is not nearly as important as the liberties of the people within the State.
The spirit of secession is actually growing like wildfire all over the world. In recent history, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Kosovo all separated from Yugoslavia. Transnistria broke free from Moldova. Abkhazia and South Ossetia fought free from Georgia. The Slovaks seceded from Czechoslovakia. And now Crimea is separating from Ukraine.
To be sure, not every country that secedes from another country is motivated purely by the love of liberty. But for those of us in America, the issue that has propelled the desire to separate from one country or one State has always been liberty. It was the love of liberty that created the United States and that created the free and independent states of Maine, Vermont, Kentucky, and West Virginia–all of which seceded from existing U.S. states.
Furthermore, what difference does it make if Washington, D.C., is our federal capital, or, if say, Helena, Montana, would become the federal capital of a mountain state confederation of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Northern Colorado, eastern Washington and Oregon, the Dakotas, Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, and Alaska? Or if Austin was the federal capital of an independent Republic of Texas? Preserving some sort of political union (especially if it is a forced and coerced union) is not nearly as important as preserving liberty.
Again, it is not the political institution that is important. What is important is the liberty that the political institution is supposed to secure.
Many great minds in this country are already philosophizing over the possibility that secession is an idea whose time has come–again. A few years ago, Walter Williams wrote, “Like a marriage that has gone bad, I believe there are enough irreconcilable differences between those who want to control and those want to be left alone that divorce is the only peaceable alternative. Just as in a marriage, where vows are broken, our human rights protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution have been grossly violated by a government instituted to protect them. Americans who are responsible for and support constitutional abrogation have no intention of mending their ways.
“Americans who wish to live free have two options: We can resist, fight and risk bloodshed to force America’s tyrants to respect our liberties and human rights, or we can seek a peaceful resolution of our irreconcilable differences by separating. That can be done by peopling several states, say Texas and Louisiana, control their legislatures and then issue a unilateral declaration of independence just as the Founders did in 1776. You say, ‘Williams, nobody has to go that far, just get involved in the political process and vote for the right person.’ That’s nonsense. Liberty shouldn’t require a vote. It’s a God-given or natural right.
“Some independence or secessionists movements, such as our 1776 war with England and our 1861 War Between the States, have been violent, but they need not be. In 1905, Norway seceded from Sweden, Panama seceded from Columbia (1903), and West Virginia from Virginia (1863). Nonetheless, violent secession can lead to great friendships. England is probably our greatest ally and we have fought three major wars together. There is no reason why Texiana (Texas and Louisiana) couldn’t peaceably secede, be an ally, and have strong economic ties with United States.
“The bottom line question for all of us is should we part company or continue trying to forcibly impose our wills on one another?”
See William’s column here:
In the eyes of God, marriage is the most sacred of all unions. It is far more sacred than any political union. If our Creator has authorized the separation of a husband and wife under certain circumstances in which one party violated the sacred terms of the holy contract (and He has), who among us has the audacity to say that political unions may not be abandoned when government commits political adultery by forsaking its oath to the people?
Again, are we more interested in preserving an institution or the liberty that the institution is supposed to secure?
As an institution, the Church at large is apostate. Yet, millions of Christians continue to prop up an institution that has abandoned the purpose for which it was created. They are more interested in preserving the forms and liturgies and tapestries and buildings of the institution. And, all the while, they are being spiritually enslaved by the very institution they are helping to prop up.
And as an institution, the U.S. federal government is apostate. Yet, millions of citizens continue to make excuses for it, justify it, and condone it. They are more interested in preserving the agencies and entities and power of the institution. Yet, all the while, they are being enslaved by the very institution they are helping to prop up.
What happens when an institution becomes more important than the cause for which the institution was formed? When the institution is civil government and the cause is liberty, tyranny is what happens.
“We are witnessing a huge geopolitical game in which the aim is the destruction of Russia as a geopolitical opponent of the US or of the global financial oligarchy…..The realization of this project is in line with the concept of global domination that is being carried out by the US.”
– Vladimir Yakunin, former Russian senior diplomat
“History shows that wherever the U.S. meddles; chaos and misery are soon to follow.”
– Kalithea, comments line, Moon of Alabama
Following a 13 year rampage that has reduced large swathes of Central Asia and the Middle East to anarchy and ruin, the US military juggernaut has finally met its match on a small peninsula in southeastern Ukraine that serves as the primary operating base for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Crimea is the door through which Washington must pass if it intends to extend its forward-operating bases throughout Eurasia, seize control of vital pipeline corridors and resources, and establish itself as the dominant military/economic power-player in the new century. Unfortunately, for Washington, Moscow has no intention of withdrawing from the Crimea or relinquishing control of its critical military outpost in Sevastopol. That means that the Crimea–which has been invaded by the Cimmerians, Bulgars, Greeks, Scythians, Goths, Huns, Khazars, Ottomans, Turks, Mongols, and Germans–could see another conflagration in the months ahead, perhaps, triggering a Third World War, the collapse of the existing global security structure, and a new world order, albeit quite different from the one imagined by the fantasists at the Council on Foreign Relations and the other far-right think tanks that guide US foreign policy and who are responsible for the present crisis.
How Washington conducts itself in this new conflict will tell us whether the authors of the War on Terror–that public relations hoax that concealed the goals of eviscerated civil liberties and one world government–were really serious about actualizing their NWO vision or if it was merely the collective pipedream of corporate CEOs and bored bankers with too much time on their hands. In the Crimea, the empire faces a real adversary, not a disparate group of Kalashinov-waving jihadis in flip-flops. This is the Russian Army; they know how to defend themselves and they are prepared to do so. That puts the ball in Obama’s court. It’s up to him and his crackpot “Grand Chessboard” advisors to decide how far they want to push this. Do they want to intensify the rhetoric and ratchet up the sanctions until blows are exchanged, or pick up their chips and walk away before things get out of hand? Do they want to risk it all on one daredevil roll of the dice or move on to Plan B? That’s the question. Whatever US policymakers decide, one thing is certain, Moscow is not going to budge. Their back is already against the wall. Besides, they know that a lunatic with a knife is on the loose, and they’re ready to do whatever is required to protect their people. If Washington decides to cross that line and provoke a fight, then there’s going to trouble. It’s as simple as that.
Perma-hawk, John McCain thinks that Obama should take off the gloves and show Putin who’s boss. In an interview with TIME magazine McCain said “This is a chess match reminiscent of the Cold War and we need to realize that and act accordingly…We need to take certain measures that would convince Putin that there is a very high cost to actions that he is taking now.”
“High cost” says McCain, but high cost for who?
What McCain fails to realize is that this is not Afghanistan and Obama is not in a spitting match with puppet Karzai. Leveling sanctions against Moscow will have significant consequences, the likes of which could cause real harm to US interests. Did we mention that “ExxonMobil’s biggest non-US oil project is a collaboration with Russia’s Rosneft in the Arctic, where it has billions of dollars of investments at stake.” What if Putin decides that it’s no longer in Moscow’s interest to honor contracts that were made with US corporations? What do you think the reaction of shareholders will be to that news? And that’s just one example. There are many more.
Any confrontation with Russia will result in asymmetrical attacks on the dollar, the bond market, and oil supplies. Maybe the US could defeat Russian forces in the Crimea. Maybe they could sink the fleet and rout the troops, but there’ll be a heavy price to pay and no one will be happy with the outcome. Here’s a clip from an article at Testosterone Pit that sums it up nicely:
“Sergei Glazyev, the most hardline of Putin’s advisors, sketched the retaliation strategy: Drop the dollar, sell US Treasuries, encourage Russian companies to default on their dollar-denominated debts, and create an alternative currency system with the BRICS and hydrocarbon producers like Venezuela and Iran…
Putin’s ally and trusted friend, Rosneft president Igor Sechin…suggested that it was “advisable to create an international stock-exchange for the participating countries, where transactions could be registered with the use of regional currencies.” (From Now On, No Compromises Are Possible For Russia, Testosterone Pit)
As the US continues to abuse its power, these changes become more and more necessary. Foreign governments must form new alliances in order to abandon the present system–the “dollar system”–and establish greater parity between nation-states, the very nation-states that Washington is destroying one-by-one to establish its ghoulish vision of global corporate utopia. The only way to derail that project is by exposing the glaring weakness in the system itself, which is the use of an international currency that is backed by $15 trillion in government debt, $4 trillion in Federal Reserve debt, and trillions more in unpaid and unpayable federal obligations. Whatever steps Moscow takes to abort the current system and replace the world’s reserve currency with money that represents a fair store of value, should be applauded. Washington’s reckless and homicidal behavior around the world make it particularly unsuitable as the de facto steward of the global financial system or to enjoy seigniorage, which allows the US to play banker to the rest of the world. The dollar is the foundation upon which rests the three pillars of imperial strength; political, economic and military. Remove that foundation and the entire edifice comes crashing to earth. Having abused that power, by killing and maiming millions of people across the planet; the world needs to transition to another, more benign way of consummating its business transactions, preferably a currency that is not backed by the blood and misery of innocent victims. Paul Volcker summed up the feelings of many dollar-critics in 2010 when he had this to say:
“The growing sense around much of the world is that we have lost both relative economic strength and more important, we have lost a coherent successful governing model to be emulated by the rest of the world. Instead, we’re faced with broken financial markets, underperformance of our economy and a fractious political climate.”
America is irreparably broken and Washington is a moral swamp. The world needs regime change; new leaders, new direction and a different system.
In our last article, we tried to draw attention to the role of big oil in the present crisis. Author Nafeez Ahmed expands on that theme in a “must read” article in Monday’s Guardian. Check out this brief excerpt from Ahmed’s piece titled “Ukraine crisis is about Great Power oil, gas pipeline rivalry”:
“Ukraine is increasingly perceived to be critically situated in the emerging battle to dominate energy transport corridors linking the oil and natural gas reserves of the Caspian basin to European markets… Considerable competition has already emerged over the construction of pipelines. Whether Ukraine will provide alternative routes helping to diversify access, as the West would prefer, or ‘find itself forced to play the role of a Russian subsidiary,’ remains to be seen.” (Guardian)
The western oil giants have been playing “catch up” for more than a decade with Putin checkmating them at every turn. As it happens, the wily KGB alum has turned out to be a better businessman than any of his competitors, essentially whooping them at their own game, using the free market to extend his network of pipelines across Central Asia and into Europe. That’s what the current crisis is all about. Big Oil came up “losers” in the resource war so now they want Uncle Sam to apply some muscle to put them back in the game. It’s called “sour grapes”, which refers to the whining that people do when they got beat fair and square. Here’s more from Ahmed:
“To be sure, the violent rioting was triggered by frustration with (Ukrainian President) Yanukovych’s rejection of the EU deal, (in favor of Putin’s sudden offer of a 30% cheaper gas bill and a $15 billion aid package) along with rocketing energy, food and other consumer bills, linked to Ukraine’s domestic gas woes ….. Police brutality to suppress what began as peaceful demonstrations was the last straw…” (Ukraine crisis is about Great Power oil, gas pipeline rivalry, Guardian)
In other words, Yanukovych rejected an offer from Chevron that the EU and Washington were pushing, and went with the sweeter deal from Russia. According to Ahmed, that pissed off the bigwigs who decided to incite the rioting. (“Putin’s sudden offer of a 30% cheaper gas bill and a $15 billion aid package provoked the protests…”)
Like we said before; it’s just a case of sour grapes.
So, tell me, dear reader: Is this the first time you’ve heard a respected analyst say that oil was behind the rioting, the coup, and the confrontation with Moscow?
I’ll bet it is. Whatever tentacles Wall Street may have wrapped around the White House, Capital Hill, and the US judiciary; Big Oil still rules the roost. The Apostles of the Fossil are the oldest and most powerful club in Washington, and “What they say, goes”. As Ahmed so articulately points out:
“Resource scarcity, competition to dominate Eurasian energy corridors, are behind Russian militarism and US interference…Ukraine is caught hapless in the midst of this accelerating struggle to dominate Eurasia’s energy corridors in the last decades of the age of fossil fuels.” (“Ukraine crisis is about Great Power oil, gas pipeline rivalry”, Guardian)
Did I hear someone say “Resource War”?
As we noted in an earlier article, NWO mastermind Zbigniew Brzezinski characterized the conflict with Russia in terms of cutting off “Western access to the Caspian Sea and Central Asia”. For some unknown reason, America’s behemoth oil corporations think the resources that lie beneath Russian soil belong to them. The question is whether their agents will push Obama to put American troops at risk to assert that claim. If they do, there’s going to be a war.
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. ~ Eph 5:11
Not surprisingly the movie “Son of God” has created quite a stir in the Christian community. Before I gave the theater my money I read several reviews, blog posts, Facebook comments and viewed TV interviews of husband and wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey promoting their film. Roma is a familiar face to many and is best-known for her role on the successful TV show “Touched by An Angel.” Mark Burnett is the executive producer of a string of hit TV shows such as “Survivor,” “The Voice, “Celebrity Apprentice,” “Shark Tank,” and he has won several Emmys.
When I first heard that another full-length feature film about the life of Christ was coming to the silver screen, I was skeptical for several reasons. First, Mark and Roma are Catholic and I was concerned that the movie would be produced from this perspective; a perspective that in many cases I disagree with.
Second, I learned that Roma earned a degree in “spiritual psychology” from the University of Santa Monica, a private graduate school founded by New Age spiritual and self-help quack John-Roger. P.J. Miller is not being flippant when he asks:
What do you call someone who is a student of new age psychology and spiritualism? Do you call them new agers? Do you call them seekers? Would you dare call them Christian? Well, if you’re Roma Downey, then yes, you would call yourself all the above. (Source)
Third, a movie trailer shows Jesus asking Peter to follow Him. Peter looks skeptical and asks Jesus what they’re going to do. Jesus grins and replies “Change the world.” Well, no. Jesus never said those words to Peter! Here’s what Jesus actually said:
While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Mat 4:18-20)
Jesus commanded — Peter and Andrew dropped what they were doing to follow Him. (More on this in a moment.) Another clip shows a woman sitting in a boat on the Sea of Galilee with Jesus and the apostles during the storm where Jesus walks on water. But according to Scripture there was no woman in the boat:
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. (Mat 14:22)
In the movie Mary was the woman in the boat. But why would they have a woman in the boat when Matthew informs us that the disciples/apostles got into the boat. Mary wasn’t one of the twelve disciples/apostles – no woman was!
Finally, S. Michael Houdmann revealed in his review of the movie that, “the reason for Jesus’ death and the meaning of His resurrection are completely missing. The fact that Jesus’ death is the atoning sacrifice for sin is not mentioned at all (1 John 2:2).”
As I said, “Son of God” has elicited a great deal of controversy as did Mark and Roma’s “The Bible” miniseries produced by LightWorkers Media, a company owned by them. This “heretical and blasphemous” program aired on the History Channel last year. “We knew when we were shooting,” said Downey, “that the Jesus portion of our ‘Bible’ series was special and we shot much more footage and we’ve re-edited many more scenes into a stand-alone feature film called ‘Son of God.'” I don’t have the space to tackle the “The Bible” brouhaha. I will say, though, that several highly controversial pastors sat on the Board of Advisors. They include Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Richard Mouw andSamuel Rodriguez. (For more on “The Bible” go to Resources below)
The Son of God?
“Son of God” opened on February 28, so by now a lot of folks have had the opportunity to view it in theatres and many more will have it streaming into their living rooms in a few months. Naturally, reviews were quickly written, some good, some not so good. (You’ll find links to the reviews at the end of this piece.) Suffice to say that in a short amount of time a lot has been said about the film.
Many of you won’t be surprised to learn that Mark and Roma asked Saddleback Church founder Rick Warren to help spread their version of the “good news.” He happily agreed. “I’ve seen most of the films produced about Jesus in the past 50 years,” said the pastor, “and ‘Son of God’ is the best. We’re excited Jesus is back on the big screen, and we’re going to fill the theaters. I want every other faith leader in America to do the same.”
So – why would the man who is affectionately called “America’s Pastor” agree to promote a film that its critics describe as outright unbiblical?
Not only did Warren endorse the film, according to the Baptist Standard staff report :
Pastor and author Rick Warren partnered with LifeWay Christian Resources to release a Bible study related to the Son of God movie from 20th Century Fox, which hits theaters Feb. 28.
The small-group curriculum resource by Warren, Son of God: The Life of Jesus in You, is a companion piece to the movie produced by husband-and-wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.
The six-session study features video clips from the movie and videos from Warren explaining Jesus’ teachings and their impact on people’s lives. Topics include baptism, temptation, suffering, death, resurrection and ministry. (Source)
As a Southern Baptist preacher, Rick Warren knows perfectly well that the Roman Catholic Church holds to the view that it is the one true Church. Thus, any church outside the RCC is anathematized (excommunicated, cursed or damned). The Protestant Reformers held the view that the RCC’s gospel is not a gospel that saves; therefore the RCC is apostate. Anyone who rejects the true gospel – we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone – is an unbeliever. Period. Warren also knows what the Bible teaches regarding believers going into partnerships with unbelievers:
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness. (2 Corinthians 6:14)
Here’s the thing. Not everyone who professes the name of Christ has a true saving faith. What about Mark Burnett and Roma Downey? Do they have a true saving faith? Let’s examine the fruit.
Popular pastor and author Mark Driscoll’s church bought out 3,500 seats. In 2013 he and his wife shared a stage with Mark and Roma at Resurgence 13. Driscoll later remarked:
We watched the world premier trailer for The Son of God at the conference, and the footage choked me up as I thought of the millions of people who will hear about Jesus through this project. I am so encouraged by God’s work through this couple. (Source)
The connection between the Passover sacrifice (Exodus 12) and Jesus as the Lamb of God (John 1:29) is not made. The fact that Jesus’ resurrection proves His victory over death and sin and guarantees a resurrected eternal life for all who believe in Him (1 Corinthians 15) is nowhere to be found. — S. Michael Houdmann
Another endorser of the film was “Social Justice Christian” Rev. Jim Wallis. In my column Liberalism created the culture of evil and death, part 3 I wrote:
This man wears many hats. He is the founder of Sojourner’s Magazine, speaker, author and activist. He’s also President Obama’s “spiritual advisor.” This alone speaks volumes. Rev. Wallis insists that he’s an evangelical Christian even though he has abandoned the biblical gospel for the “social gospel.” He believes he’s on a mission from God to assist the poor and oppressed to bring forth the Kingdom of God on earth.
When this purveyor of the false social justice gospel was asked for advice by the couple, he gladly gave it to them:
What won me over to the whole series was the clip about Jesus meeting Peter, the fisherman. In a Washington, D.C., premiere of “The Bible” series a few weeks ago, I had wonderful conversations with Mark and Roma. Mark asked me if they were right to have Jesus say that he wanted to change the world. Those words are not literally in the scriptures, but it seemed to him and Roma that’s exactly what Jesus was talking about. Absolutely correct, I told them both. And we went through the first few chapters of Mathew which demonstrate that truth. I love the clarity and courage of the statement from Jesus in “The Bible.”
Sunny Shell disagrees:
Christ came into the world to save sinners from the righteous wrath of God, which is the just penalty for our sins. He never said He came to change the world. He said He came to transform people by giving them new hearts and new minds through repentance and faith in Christ alone. (Source)
The Examiner listed the names of churches and organizations that distributed tickets for a so-called “Theater Take-Over”:
Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Tex., who is distributing 8,000 tickets donated by an anonymous donor; Jerry Falwell, Jr., of Liberty University which has more than 12,000 students; Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch which has 18 campuses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles with over four million members and Miles McPherson of the Rock Church with weekly attendance of more than 10,000 in San Diego, Calif. (Emphasis in original – source)
In an article that appeared on Fox News, Mark and Roma wrote:
In all our combined years in the entertainment industry, we’ve never seen anything like this kind of grass-roots support for a project. It is truly miraculous.
So, too, is the unprecedented depth and breadth of those who have endorsed the film. Pastors like Rick, as well as scholars and faith organizations, have graciously supported our effort to share this story of our Savior – though they belong to different denominations, adhere to varying theological doctrine, worship God in their own unique ways.
Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter’s House in Dallas said “the audience will be enthralled, encouraged and inspired.”
S. Michael Houdmann was not enthralled by the movie. In his review he writes:
The Son of God presents a Jewish Messiah who is crucified, dies, comes back to life, and commissions His followers to spread the word. But why did He have to die? What is the meaning of the resurrection? What is the message the apostles were supposed to proclaim, and why was it worth dying for?
More from the Fox News article…
Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston called it “an epic work that touches the heart.”
The Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Gomez says it’s “a very important movie because it gives us the opportunity to realize God’s presence in our own lives.”(Source)
Certainly there are by now “Church leaders” that are sincerely shocked to find out that they endorsed a movie produced by New Age Catholics. Here’s more proof from a 2010 article Roma Downey Happy Out of the Spotlight that shows she’s an advocate of New Age/New Thought spirituality:
Says Roma, who lives in Malibu, ‘My kids go to school about a 40-minute drive away. I’m open to the group’s opinion about what we listen to on the way there. On the way back, I get my own selections — books on tape by Eckhart Tolle, Tony Robbins…My husband says I’m so self-realized I’m practically levitating.’
For those who are unfamiliar with Eckhart Tolle, he’s a New Ager. A few years ago Tolle paired up with Oprah Winfrey to do 10 online classes on XM Satellite radio on his blockbuster book “A New Earth: Are You Ready to Be Awakened.” Oprah and Tolle took participants through his book chapter by chapter. Regrettably, a large number of professing Christians took the class!
Human Potential guru and “coach for success” Anthony Robbins once said: “My definition of success is to live your life in a way that causes you to feel tons of pleasure and very little pain.” Evidently no pain is experienced after completing a barefoot firewalk, a self-empower technique Robbins’ teaches to get an otherwise sane person to walk on a bed of burning hot coals during his “Unleash The Power Within” seminar. On this video you’ll hear the sound of drums beating and the crowd chanting “YES! YES! YES!” as Robbinswhips them into a frenzy in preparation for the firewalk.
Roma appeared on “psychic medium” John Edward’s TV show and allegedly spoke to her deceased mother. What does the Bible have to say about consulting a medium?
And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. (2 Kings 21:6)
Well, it’s apparent that Roma, who says she loves the Bible, is unaware—or doesn’t care–that God says consulting a medium is evil.
Later she collaborated with Edwards by providing a CD to accompany a book he wrote:
Roma prays the entire rosary on the beautiful CD that comes along with this book. It’s quite lovely and gives you the special opportunity and a unique spiritual closeness to Roma to be able to pray right along with her as if she was right there at your side.” (Source)
So now you know a bit about two New Age gurus Roma Downey looks forward to listening to each day and an occultist she collaborated with. The worldview of these men is as far from Christianity as the Earth is from Pluto.
P.J. Miller sat listening to Jim Bakker introduce Mark and Roma on Bakker’s TV show and recalled “their previous work on the History Channel’s The Bible and how they managed to literally re-write the Bible itself, and presented another gospel message altogether. I was captured by their … aggressive but subtle attempt to portray themselves as ‘believers’. The sappy spiritual love fest that permeated on set showed me that something was indeed changing within Christianity, and that something was another Jesus being introduced to the masses.”
Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. (Mat/ 24: 23-24)
After several weeks of due diligence I’ve decided that “Son of God” is not a film I wish to see. In addition to the concerns I have included in this article, my research has turned up many more — way too many to incorporate here. Most troubling is the astonishing lack of discernment shown by some of our so-called Christian leaders. The Son of God I serve is best described in the Bible which is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God. Inspired means that God moved through the writers to convey to those who read it the words He wanted us to hear. So to change the words that Christ spoke is prideful and wicked.
It’s unfortunate that those who are unfamiliar with the biblical Jesus and see this film will not come away with a clear understanding of His mission here on Earth.
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1John 2:2)
“Son of God” Reviews
‘Son of God’ Is Most Certainly Not the Son of God by Sunny Shell
Son of God Review by S. Michael Houdmann
Is the Son of God Biblical by Ben Kayser
“The Bible” Review
History Channel’s ‘The Bible’ Exalts Man Over God by Sunny Shell
Jim Wallis Produces Commentaries for “The Bible” by Stand Up For The Truth
Religious leaders of all stripes endorse Son of God by Stand Up For The Truth
New Age/New Thought Movement
Rick Warren and Joel Osteen acquiesce to Oprah by Marsha West
A subtle and dangerous shift in Christianity by Marsha West
Rick Warren’s ‘Son of God’ Study Kit by Stand Up For The Truth
Rick Warren and Teaching of Demons by Ken Silva
What Still Keeps Us Apart? by Michael Horton
Rome anathematized itself at the Council of Trent
Purpose Driven Dismantling of Christianity, Part 1 by Marsha West
Have you ever run over a dead skunk in the road? I have, during a heat wave. The smell got into my tires and permeated our garage for days! I’ll go out on a limb and say that no one takes pleasure in the highly offensive smell of skunk spray, dead or alive. My point in telling you this is that to God the stench of sin is much worse than skunk. For an example of just how much the Lord hates sin, grab a cup of coffee and read First and Second Kings. Given our penchant for getting things fast, here’s an illustration of the way in which God dealt with Baasha, one of Israel’s most ruthless kings:
Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger with their sins, behold, I will utterly sweep away Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.Anyone belonging to Baasha who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field the birds of the heavens shall eat. (1 Kings 16:1-4)
God had already destroyed Jeroboam for his flagrant sins, yet Baasha repeated the same mistakes. God rebuked the Israelites for their sinful ways and vowed to punish them.
Fast forward to 2014. Somewhere around 75% of Americans say they’re Christians. If that’s true, how is it that an increasing number of so-called Christians act no differently than the pagans did when Baasha was king? Clearly, Scripture teaches that Christians are to have a biblical foundation and that their behavior should be Christlike. Yet many who call themselves believers think nothing of sinning their brains out!
Admittedly, when someone is new to the faith the fruit on the vine doesn’t bloom immediately. In other words, sanctification is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. There comes a time, though, when the vine brings forth fruit. But when the fruit tree is barren year after year, one can’t help but wonder if the tree was ever pollinated!
One of my favorite pastimes is discussing (debating, dissecting) the Bible with other Christians. So I find it concerning when I strike up a conversation with a long time believer that knows practically nothing about the Bible. Most Christians have heard the verse, “Sanctify [set apart for a holy use] them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17 By reading God’s Word believers learn about Christ, with the goal being to be more like Him. Likewise, we’ll grow in our faith and receive divine guidance on how we’re to live our lives.
To have a close relationship with someone we must get to know the person. The obvious course of action is to ask probing questions. So we’ve got to dig below the surface to uncover the intimate details of a person’s life. When we’re not interested in having a meaningful relationship with someone, we don’t bother to probe!
Because our Father in heaven loves His children, His desire is to be in relationship with each one of us. His desire is to pull His beloved into a bear hug! Those who sincerely wish to be in relationship with the Father must dig deep into the scriptures, because that’s the one and only place to learn about God and His ways. “What we believe about God,” said A. W. Tozier, “is the most important thing about us.”
Getting To Know YOU, Getting To Know All About YOU
Nothing should stand in the way of spending a few minutes each day with the King of kings and Lord of lords. While we sit at His feet we can thank Him for our many blessings; we can pour out our hearts to Him and even make requests, trusting that the answers to our prayers will come. Sitting at His feet, our hurts will be healed and our joy restored. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Countless Christians admit to not reading their bibles regularly, they hardly ever pray, rarely attend church, they’re not in a Bible study nor do they study on their own. Moreover, meeting with other believers isn’t a priority. If this statement defines you, consider the following:
Would it be honest for someone to claim to be an avid skier that never hit the slopes?
Could a person that pumps iron three or four times a year ever develop into a body-building champion?
In the same vein, is it honest for someone to claim to be a Christian that never spends time pumping spiritual iron?
Getting back to my point—sin. The Bible says Christians should not tolerate blatant sin. Furthermore, it says we must stop sinning! Take for example sexual sin. In this day and age, many professing Christians ignore the fact that one of the gravest sins we commit is sexual sin. Having sexual relations outside of marriage (the biblical understanding of marriage is the union of a man and woman) goes against the clear teaching of Scripture.
In dealing with sexual taboos, C. S. Lewis pulls no punches:
Our warped natures, the devils who tempt us, and all the contemporary propaganda for lust, combine to make us feel that the desires we are resisting are so ‘natural,’ so ‘healthy,’ and so reasonable, that it is almost perverse and abnormal to resist them. Poster after poster, film after film, novel after novel, associate the idea of sexual indulgence with the ideas of health, normality, youth, frankness, and good humour. Now this association is a lie. Like all powerful lies, it is based on a truth …that sex in itself (apart from the excesses and obsessions that have grown round it) is ‘normal’ and ‘healthy,’ and all the rest of it. The lie consists in the suggestion that any sexual act to which you are tempted at the moment is also healthy and normal. Now this, on any conceivable view, and quite apart from Christianity, leads to impotence, disease, jealousies, lies, concealment, and everything that is the reverse of health, good humour, and frankness. For any happiness, even in this world, quite a lot of restraint is going to be necessary; so the claim made by every desire, when it is strong, to be healthy and reasonable, counts for nothing. Every sane and civilized man must have some set of principles by which he chooses to reject some of his desires and to permit others. One man does this on Christian principles, another on hygienic principles, another on sociological principles. The real conflict is not between Christianity and ‘nature,’ but between Christian principles and other principles in the control of ‘nature,’ for ‘nature’ (in the sense of natural desire) will have to be controlled anyway, unless you are going to ruin your whole life. (Excerpt from Book III, Chapter 5, of Mere Christianity)
There’s no getting around it. Sex without holy matrimony is a sin, so “quite a lot of restraint is going to be necessary” if one wishes to be God-honoring and obedient.
Just Follow Jesus
Our Lord spoke plainly when He said, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” John 12:26 And, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15 Jesus wasn’t just addressing the Apostles; what He stated was meant for all who have faith in Him!
Jesus also gave this warning:
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit (John 15:1-2).
For clarification, Jesus Christ is the vine and the fruitful branches are Christians who, through a personal relationship with Him, will bear much fruit. The unfruitful branches are the people who make a superficial commitment and bear little or no fruit. The Father will prune the vine and discard the fruitless branches.
Those who professes Christ and behave like heathens may find themselves lopped off the vine – and not because God is mean and intolerant. On the contrary. God is long suffering, not willing that any should perish.
Authentic Christians understand that God loves us…that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins…that His crucifixion was the ultimate act of love. What many believers fail to understand, though, is that the Creator is holy. Christians, of all people, should understand that we serve a holy God. So let’s go to Isaiah 6:1-7 for a glimpse of the prophet’s vision of God:
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is theLord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
Here’s how Matthew Henry describes Isaiah’s vision:
The prophet, standing outside the temple, sees the Divine Presence seated on the mercy-seat, raised over the ark of the covenant, between the cherubim and seraphim, and the Divine glory filled the whole temple. See God upon his throne. This vision is explained, John 12:41, that Isaiah now saw Christ’s glory, and spake of Him, which is a full proof that our Saviour is God. In Christ Jesus, God is seated on a throne of grace; and through him the way into the holiest is laid open. See God’s temple, his church on earth, filled with his glory. His train, the skirts of his robes, filled the temple, the whole world, for it is all God’s temple. And yet he dwells in every contrite heart. See the blessed attendants by whom his government is served. Above the throne stood the holy angels, called seraphim, which means burners; they burn in love to God, and zeal for his glory against sin. The seraphim showing their faces veiled, declares that they are ready to yield obedience to all God’s commands, though they do not understand the secret reasons of his counsels, government, or promises. All vain-glory, ambition, ignorance, and pride, would be done away by one view of Christ in his glory. This awful vision of the Divine Majesty overwhelmed the prophet with a sense of his own vileness. We are undone if there is not a Mediator between us and this holy God. A glimpse of heavenly glory is enough to convince us that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Nor is there a man that would dare to speak to the Lord, if he saw the justice, holiness, and majesty of God, without discerning his glorious mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. The live coal may denote the assurance given to the prophet, of pardon, and acceptance in his work, through the atonement of Christ. (Source)
As R.C. Sproul so aptly put it in The Holiness of God, every single sin a person commits is a capital offense. “Sin is cosmic treason. Sin is treason against a pure Sovereign. It is an act of supreme ingratitude toward the One to whom we owe everything, to the One who has given us life itself.”
Submit yourselves, then, to God…Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail…humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up (James 4:7-10).